Saturday, May 17, 2008

Youths torch trucks, Naxal links alleged

KEONJHAR, May 16: Some youths, believed to have Naxal links, burnt two trucks to ashes today at around 9 a.m.
It is alleged that the trucks were burnt as an apparent warning to one contractor Mr Laxmidhara Mishra.
It is learnt that Mr Mishra is presently constructing a PMGSY road near Barabahali canal of Bhandaridiha GP under Ghasipura police station limit.
Sources said a gang of youths claiming themselves as Naxals had been asking the contractor for some money. Even yesterday they had threatened him to settle their demand, or face the consequences. As their demands were not met even tody, it is believed that they vented their anger on the vehicles.
However, police are not willing to buy the story and think otherwise. Police sources said some local youths, in a bid to teach a lesson to Mr Balia Rout, the driver of the contractor, for passing comments to some girls of Jhinkipita village, have committed the arson.
Interestingly, on 2 April, Rs 30,000 was looted from the same contractor and some machinery were damaged at Samukanendi, Anandapur. At that time too, the police wriggled out saying it was a handiwork of local youths who were asking for some donation towards a football tournament.
SP Mr Saumendra Priyadarshi said: "the local people believe that Purna Murmu, the kingpin of the gang committed the crime and he has MCC links and thus there are reasons to believe in the Naxal role in the incident.
"The SDPO and the SOG team have visited the spot today," the SP said.
If the incidents of past years are anything to go by, the direct link of MCC can not be ruled out in this case. Since the last couple of years, the Naxals have been reportedly targeting the contractors. In Harichandanpur area when the Daitari-Bansapani railway project was going, the Naxals were allegedly kidnapping the contractors and demanding ransom money. They were successful too in getting the money, some sources claimed.
As the railway project has been completed a year ago, the people believe that the Naxals may have shifted their target from Harichandanpur to Anandapu

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