Armed cadres of the illegal Communist Party of India (Maoist) set ablaze as many as seven vehicles engaged in road construction work in insurgency-hit Kanker of Chhattisgarh on June 6.
As per the reports, the incident occurred when cadres of the outlawed outfit barged into the construction site near Sitram village under Chotte Bettiah police station limits of Pankhajur region of Kanker and set ablaze at least seven vehicles parked at the construction site.
It’s been reported that road construction work was being completed between Rajmunda to Kopengunda, and the vehicles engaged in the construction work were parked near the Sitram village when Maoist torched a total of 7 vehicles, including two trucks, a porcelain machine, a water tanker vehicle along with a road roller.
Speaking with the Organiser Station House Officer (SHO) Chotte Bettiah, Mahendra Singh Dhruv said that we had got the information about the arson triggered by the Maoist near the Sitram village. It was reported that the vehicles torched by the Maoist were stationed near the site as construction work had already been completed. We are extracting more information about the matter and will share the details.
It was reported that the police team has yet to visit the spot as the arson site is reportedly in an interior location, and more information about the incident is still awaited.
It is to be noted that this is not the first time that the cadres of the banned outfit have set ablaze vehicles engaged in construction work, and the area has been prone to such incidents triggered by the Maoist for a long time.
Earlier, in a similar incident reported from the Maoist-affected Koyelibeda region, armed cadres of the proscribed Maoist group had torched a dozen vehicles engaged in construction work near Gundul and Alparas village in March this year.
It was then reported that a group of Maoist barged near the construction site at midnight and torched as many as eight tractors, two bulldozers, along with two excavators stationed at the spot. It was learnt that the Maoist torched the vehicles by breaking their fuel tanks; the ultras also threatened the labourers not to start work again.
Later on, it was reported that the concerned contractor had not sought police protection for the ongoing work, and the work was being completed without intimating the local police.
In another incident reported from separate places of Kanker, armed cadres of the banned Maoist outfit torched as many as three vehicles and two machines engaged in road construction work, besides torching as many as four mobile towers in November last year.
As per the reports, the vehicles and the machines engaged in the road construction work were torched near Markanaar village while the ultras also set ablaze mobile towers located at the Jiram Tarai, Sisrangi and Badrangi villages of Koyelibeda block of Kanker.
It should be noted that the Maoist had been continuously opposing development work in their strongholds, fearing better roads, connectivity, and exposure to the outside world would affect their hold on the tribal population residing under their influence.
The ultras also feared that better connectivity would ease the access of security forces in the remote areas currently under the de facto control of the Maoist outfit.