RAYAGADA:Opposing the ongoing road construction work in Niyamgiri hill area, the Maoists torched vehicles of a construction company here on Friday.
According to sources, a group of nearly 20 masked men swooped down on the construction site around 12.30 pm and warned the workers to halt work near Sanadengneli and Badadengneli villages. They also set ablaze two JCBs, two tractors, water tank, vibrator machine and other equipment.
The road, stretching from Parshalli to Gumma under Kalyansinghpur police limits of the district, was being constructed under the supervision of Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) of Rayagada despite repeated protests by Dongria Kondhs and threats by Maoists. The work was on under the vigil of police and CRPF.
The Maoists also left behind posters at the site asking villagers to boycott the panchayat election. They are protesting industrialisation in the area. The rebels had also warned the Sarpanch candidates Gutu Sikaka of Phakeri village and Bama Sikaka of Budeni village besides Samiti member aspirant Paika Sikaka of Lamba village to stay away from election. They also called for bandh in Kalyansinghpur, Muniguda, Bisssamcuttack and Lanjigarh on the election days.
Meanwhile, the district police has chalked out strategies for smooth conduct of the panchayat poll in the sensitive areas and other pockets. A police force, led by SDPO Y Jagannath Rao, reached Kalyansinghpur but were stopped by the Dongria Kondhs from reaching the spot.
The Dongrias, who are also protesting road construction work, had set ablaze equipment in a Government rest shed used by the contractor and forces three months ago.