Armed assailants attack railway site in Jharkhand

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Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), May 23 (ANI): Armed assailants suspected to be the Naxalites stormed a railway track laying-site in Jharkhand's Hazaribagh district and set ablaze expensive train machinery.

The attack took place last night when work was going on to lay tracks under the ambitious project connecting Koderma district with Ranchi via Hazaribagh.

A group of around 30 extremists raided the site at Katkamsandi town and vandalized equipment worth almost 10 million rupees.

"After inquiry, we found that around 20-30 people armed assailants came here. We haven't got full evidence regarding the group behind this incident. Neither can we determine the reasons behind the incident," said Abhaas Kumar, officer in-charge, Katkamsandi Police Station.

On inquiry, the owners told us that they haven't even asked for any levy or anything. But the modus operandi of the incident indicates that it may have been done for levy," he added. According to eyewitnesses, the assailants besides setting the equipment on fire also mercilessly beat up a worker on site when he tried to protest.

Chandan Jain, the project in-charge, said that fear has pervaded the minds of workers after this attack and therefore the work at the railway site would be delayed for the time being.

Rebels had been attacking railway sites in Katkamsandi and Chatra village time and again. Due to this, the project cost has gone up to 20 billion rupees from the original 10.33 billion rupees.

This project was to be completed in 2005 but because of these violent attacks the deadline has been overshot considerably.

The railway officials now hope that the project will be completed by March 2011. (ANI)

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