At least four persons working on a road construction site were shot dead allegedly by Maoists in a village under Basia police station area of Gumla district on Thursday. More than a dozen Maoists reportedly reached Guram Dato Tola village under Basia police station around 11.30 am and opened indiscriminate firing. They left the spot after some time.
The Director General of Police and other top officials rushed to the spot from Ranchi following the incident.
Four persons were later found dead. They were identified as Rampati Kumar, a resident of Bhabua in Bihar, Ajay Topno, Lalit Sahu and Ravi Shankar Sahu (all three residents of Dhanchu Toli in Basia). All of them were aged in their 20s and 30s. Kumar was working as supervisor, while the other three were labourers.
The police said that initial probe indicated that the personnel from the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) were involved in the incident, which occurred nearly 145 km from Ranchi. It could be linked to demand of levy from the construction company involved, the police said.
Initial investigations indicated that a road under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was being constructed in association with the National Projects Construction Limited through one Kenari constructions, a Bihar-based company. It could not be confirmed whether the contractor was present at the spot when the incident occurred.
The Maoist groups have been targeting construction sites for extracting levy from them. The police claim that Maoists have been adopting this strategy to mark their presence even as many of their top commanders have either been arrested or neutralised.