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Rebels kill road construction official

Bhagalpur/Patna, Aug. 11: Suspected Maoists today killed an employee of a Patna-based road construction company and abducted two others from its base camp under Lakshmipur police station in Jamui district, about 200km east of Patna.

Police said the fate of the two abducted employees of Rajiv Construction Company Pvt. Ltd was not yet known. Over a dozen rebels swooped down on the camp office of the firm at Ghorlahi middle sch-ool around 12.30am and held Toofani Yadav, (45), Ishwar Sah (50) and Raju Singh (43) captive. The police said the assailants took awaw the three towards some unknown destination.

The body of Sah, a resident of Amarwa village under Lakshmipur police station, was found this morning with his throat slit. His body was dumped near Daha middle school, about 2km from the base camp of the company.

Raju and Toofani were residents of Biharsharif in Nalanda and Baijla under Jhajha police station in Jamui, respectively. Sources said the assailants had brutally beaten up the employees, including Sah, before leaving the spot.

The company has been awarded the contract of construction of about 15km of road between Bumkali and Belatukur villages under Lakshmipur police station. The sources said the Maoists had earlier demanded Rs 5 lakh as levy from the company.

The police suspected the incident to be a handiwork of former Maoist leader Sunil Baith, a resident of Jharkhand. Baitha has been reportedly trying to establish a base in the area after the arrest of CPI (Maoist) “zonal commander” Birbal Yadav in June.

Jamui sub-divisional police officer Birendra Sahu said a complaint was lodged at Lakshmipur police station against some unidentified persons by a local representative of Rajiv Construction Company Pvt. Ltd after some criminals tried to extort money from its proprietor, Rajiv Kumar.

A report reaching the state police headquarters said the two captives have been freed by the captors. “But the victims are yet to reach home,” an officer said.