October 28, 2020

Police rescue workers abducted by Maoists

Munger: Police on Thursday evening rescued four workers – abducted by Maoists from near the Kharagpur Lake on Wednesday night – from Paisra forest area under Kharagpur police station.

“They are safe,” Gaurav Mangla, superintendent of police (Munger), told The Telegraph on Thursday evening .

The four workers, including two drivers of earthmover machines, were abducted after Maoists attacked the construction site of Ram Kripal Singh Construction Pvt Limited (Ranchi) engaged in removing silt from the bed of the Kharagapur Lake.

Sources said the four were held captive for the past 16 hours in an undisclosed location in the Kharagapur forest after 40-50 rebels attacked the site, around 60km from here. “Armed police personnel and paramilitary forces of Munger, Lakhisarai and Jamui, led by the SPs of all three districts have been raiding the suspected hideouts of the Maoists,” said Jitendra Mishra, deputy inspector-general of police (Munger range).

“Maoists in large numbers attacked the site of the project at the Kharagapur Lake last night when workers were having dinner. They set ablaze six heavy-duty vehicles of the construction company, including four earthmover machines and a motorcycle,” the DIG added.

“Irrigation minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh and rural works minister Shailesh Kumar at an event on May 20 inaugurated the Rs 87 crore irrigation project. Since then, engineers and workers of the agency had been engaged in removing silt from the bed of the lake with the help of machines,” Mahendra Prasad, executive engineer, irrigation department (Tarapur), said.

“After the Maoist attack, the future of the irrigation project is at stake,” the executive engineer further said.

“The construction company lost around Rs 5 crore worth of property in the attack on Wednesday night in which six heavy-duty vehicles were totally damaged. At the time of attack, about 30 workers were at dinner,” Mritunjoy Kumar, an engineer of the construction company said.

He added: “Maoists, around 40 to 50 in number, used small gas cylinders to burn down the earthmover and other heavy vehicles. Now it will be difficult for the company to engage workers and other technical staff at the same project site in future.”

Mahendra said: “The project, after its completion by May 2020, was to irrigate about 5,310 hectares of fertile land in Haveli Kharagapur sub-division in Munger district.”

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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