Maoists disrupt bridge construction in Jharkhand
Latehar, Dec 17 (ANI): In yet another attack on development projects, the Maoist ultras stalled the construction of a bridge by damaging the bridge railings in Jharkhand's Latehar District.
A band of Maoists damaged the railings of the bridge as a 'punishment' for the contractor who began work on the project despite Maoists' warnings on Friday.
According to locals, Maoists had long been demanding a levy from the contractor for the construction of the bridge, which the contractor refused to pay. As per an estimate, the bridge was being made at a cost of Rs. 16 million.
Furious over the contractor's refusal, the Maoist ultras drove a tractor trolley right into the bridge's railings, in a bid to stall the construction work as well as to intimidate the villagers.
Villagers squarely blamed the Maoists for the complete breakdown of developmental activities in the region.
"Several members of militant outfit came here and surrounded the bridge. They even attacked some villagers and community leaders. After a heated argument, they destroyed the bridge's railings by driving a tractor trolley into it. They kept asking how the work on the bridge had begun despite their warnings to the contractor. After creating the uproar and damaging the bridge, they left," said Rameshwar Singh, a villager.
With the absence of a bridge, some villagers rued that they were bound to face a harrowing time, as commuting from one place to another would become increasingly difficult during the monsoons.
"The completion of this bridge was very important for the villagers. It would have facilitated commuting, since it is very difficult to travel here during the monsoon," said Shanti Devi, a village schoolteacher.
The Maoists fear that allowing construction of roads, bridges, culverts, schools and other state and central development programmes would enable the government to 'reach' poor tribals and villagers, who constitute a traditional support base of the Maoists. (ANI)
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