Bhawanipatna: Maoists went on a rampage setting fire to several road construction vehicles at the camp office of a contractor at a Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana site near Jamkana village about 14-km from here Tuesday evening.
As many as 50 armed ultras raided the camp office and burnt down at least eight tractors, excavators, vibrator, rollers and tippers parked at the camp office.
The ultras stuck 15 posters in the name of CPI (Maoists) in the area warning the administration to stop the 13.20km road work built at a cost of Rs 650.80 lakh under the PMGSY scheme.
They questioned the construction of such a wide road in the area when people are being displaced under the Ret irrigation project.
They also demanded work for people and same wages to male and female labourers. The incident has triggered panic in the district.
Neither police nor administrative officials are yet to reach the spot even 24 hours after the incident. The ultras after a brief lull have again asserted their presence in the area and thrown an open challenge to the state government and the police.
Sources said a road construction firm Thakur Buildtech Pvt Ltd owned by super class contractor Rajesh Thakur has taken up the construction of 13-20 km stretch of road from Gunduri to Kadam in Gunduri panchayat.
Earlier, the rebels were opposing the road construction work in the area which runs through dense forests and a hilly terrain.
Villagers of 20-25 villages are dependent on this route to connect with their panchayat office and reach the district headquarters at Bhawanipatna.
The villagers could have benefited from this road construction but before that the rebels burnt down the vehicles to unleash terror in the area.
The incident occurred when over 50 armed rebels, both men and women, dressed in black and blue fatigues, raided the camp office and asked about 15 workers to come outside.
Some of the ultras gheraoed the employees and asked them to leave the camp immediately as they came from outside. The rest gheraoed the camp and stood guard on the road and the jungle route. Panicked, the employees ran to Jamkana village and hid themselves in the houses of villagers.
Later, the ultras took out diesel from the camp and poured them on the vehicles before setting them ablaze. The ultras while leaving stuck handwritten posters on trees and in and around the area.
Bhawanipatna SDPO Biranchi Narayan Dehuri confirmed the development stating that he is yet to receive a complaint in this regard. He, however, said they will start a combing operation in the area.
Notably, SP Sandeep Madakar is on leave from December last week while ASP Akshaya Kumar Das has gone out of the district to appear as a witness in a court case. PNN