Latehar: When the building contractors failed to oblige the extortion demands, a group of Maoists in Jharkhand forced a halt to the construction of a culvert.
The culvert was being built over a stream in Latehar district to connect two villages.
Latehar Superintendent of Police Michael Raj briefed the media on this threat posed by the Maoists on Saturday.
Reportedly, apart from forcing the building contractors to pay up the extortion money, the Maoists were also forcibly levying taxes on the villagers.
When the contractors refused to concede to these demands, the Maoists damaged everything they could lay hand on at the construction site.
However, the contractor was too frightened to file a report against the insurgents.
"We came to know about this issue through the newspaper reports and when we investigated the matter, it turned out to be true. The contractor was not ready to register a compliant as such we have filed a case on the statement of a security guard," said Superintendent of Police, Latehar, Michael Raj.
The construction of the culvert started nearly two year ago to facilitate safe and easy communication links between two villages.
Since the primary school exists only in one of the villages, the children from the other village have to cross a lot of barriers to reach their school and return home, wading through the stream over which the culvert is being built.
A school student, Jitendar Kumar, said that when they saw the commencement of construction of the culvert, they were elated but their hopes have been belied.
The stoppage of work by Maoists has further disheartened the students.
"We go to our school crossing the area where the culvert is supposed to be built. If the culvert had been built our clothes and shoes would not have got wet," said Jitendar Kumar.