Maoist torch vehicles, machinery in Chatra, Lohardaga

Lohardaga/Chatra (Jharkhand): Maoists torched twenty vehicles and machines in Chatra and Lohardaga districts, the police said on Wednesday.

"Suspected Maoists torched a Bolero, three trucks and two costly machinery engaged at Pakhar Bauxite Mining in Lohardaga district this morning," Lohardaga superintendent of police Asim Vikrant Minz told newsmen.

The vehicles and equipment belonged to Atul Agarwal, who had taken a contract from HINDALCO, he said.

The staff of the contractor denied receiving any extortion demand from the rebels.

Another group of Maoists yesterday went to three adjoining villages in Chatra district and set fire to ten tractors and five other machinery engaged in sinking ponds at three villages, Chatra superintendent of police Prabhat Kumar said.

Denial of extortion by the contractors could be the motive behind the arson in Chatra, Kumar said.

On May 14, the Maoists had torched 30 vehicles worth over Rs 30 crore of a Mumbai-based road construction department for denial of extortion at Morandi in neighbouring Hazaribagh district.