Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Transport staff skip duty after attack, cops aloof

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Gaya, July 6: Fearing further attacks, 50 of the 90-odd drivers and conductors of Maharani Transport Limited, the company targeted by Naxalites over the weekend, have deserted work.

Three of the buses belonging to the transport company now lie abandoned in an area within the Dumaria police station limits, as the staff have refused to drive them back to the district headquarters’ office.

According to the owner of Maharani Transport Limited, Ravi Shankar Singh, alias Munna Singh, more than 50 members of his staff have not reported to duty after rebels abducted drivers and conductors of three buses — only to set them free later and torch the vehicles.

The incident occurred under the Dumaria police station limits, an area that has seen several Naxalite attacks in the past. In a letter addressed to the owner, the rebels made it clear that the buses were hijacked and torched because the company failed to pay “levy” to them.

Meanwhile, Munna Singh has regretted that the response of the district police has been weak and discouraging. He blamed the administration’s response for installing staff among the members of his staff. “No action has been taken against offenders nor have they been identified,” said Munna Singh.

When contacted, Gaya superintendent of police M.R. Naik said the three abandoned buses had been taken over by the police and are now safely parked near Dumaria police station. The vehicles would be handed over to the owner as and when the company asks for it, said he.

The SP also claimed that anti-Naxalite operation has been intensified in the wake of the Saturday and Sunday attacks.

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