RAIPUR: The outlawed CPI (Maoist) set ablaze seven vehicles, including a JCB loader and a road roller engaged at a road construction site in the strife-torn Dantewada district of south Chhattisgarh on Saturday.
This is the fourth incident in the last twelve days of the Maoists setting fire to vehicles, including trucks, tippers, JCB machines, tractors, and road rollers, in four districts of the conflict zone of Bastar.
Nearly a dozen armed rebels arrived at the road work site on Saturday and asked the drivers and labourers to vacate the place before setting the vehicles ablaze. The workers were warned not to return to work at the road construction site.
The ill-fated vehicles, including one JCB machine, one road roller, two water tankers and a couple of tractors, were being used by the contractors for construction of roads under the Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana between villages Gadpal and Bade-lekhapal, some 450 km south of Raipur, the police said.
Security forces rushed to the area and launched a combing operation.
Maoists have been opposing the construction of roads, which are considered strategically important for the security forces and the local people.
Consequently, the rebels target vehicles and machines deployed at road construction sites as part of their anti-development agenda. The Naxalites have set on fire and damaged several vehicles used for road works in the restive districts of Kondagaon, Sukma, Kanker and Dantewada during the past two weeks. In April, as many as 25 CRPF personnel guarding a road under construction were killed in a Maoist attack.