Purulia, Sep 30 (UNI) Jharkhand's Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto escaped unhurt when nails planted on a highway punctured his speeding four-wheeler here late last night, police said today.
Mr Mahto was travelling to his home in Jamshedpur from Dhanbad with two escort cars -front and rear- via Purulia district when his Ambassador car passing through NH 32 got stuck near Balarampur college, about 50 kms from Purulia town, district police superintendent Asoke Kumar Prasad said.
He said many nails, locally called ''fali'' varying from ten to 12 inches, were planted on the highway, possibly by dacoits or highway gangs, punctured three tyres of the VIP car, which came to a grinding halt at 2350 hours. Before any further damage was done, the security escort personnel immediately got out from their cars and chased some unidentifed men, who fled to a nearby jungle taking advantage of the darkness.
However, both the escorting cars were intact.
Later Mr Mahto was taken to Balarampur police station for safety where he lodged an FIR. Three hours later Mr Mahto was escorted to Jamshedpur.
Mr Prasad said the highway dacoits and criminals had probably planted nails to plunder commuters in the night.
Meanwhile, JMM's Bengal unit president Ajit Prasad Mahto today condemned the incident and demanded an inquiry. He said the state government should have provided the security when the dignitary was in the state.
There was no arrest so far, police said.
JMM's state unit secretary Nemai Mahto also condemned the incident.