CEO, 8 held for ‘IEDs for Maoists’
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Nine employees of a Hyderabad-based construction firm, including CEO A Bhupal, were arrested on Friday evening on charges of supplying explosives to Maoists in Malkangiri district.
Malkangiri SP Akhilesh Singh said the nine, working for Lekcon Infrastructure Private Ltd, had been held with 50 kg of improvised explosive devices, gelatin powder, potassium nitrate and a large amount of Maoist literature.
Threatened by Maoists and facing financial losses due to delay in completion of road projects, the company allegedly agreed to supply explosives to Maoists on the Andhra-Orissa border area in exchange for letting work continue at its sites.
It was the sixth such incident this year of police intercepting vehicles of construction firms working in Orissa or Chhattisgarh and finding cash or goods meant for Maoists. In the past, the Andhra Police have seized medicines, food and rations, besides cash from employees of construction firms working in the two neighbouring states. The companies buckle in under threats by Maoists to kidnap or kill employees and destroy their equipment.
A Leckon Infra official, Narender Naidu, denied the charges, saying the explosives were meant for construction and that they were not connected to Naxalites in any way.
The BSF and Orissa Police seized the explosives from the SUV of Bhupal. The eight others travelling with him were also arrested. The nine were produced before a local court on Saturday.
Enjoying a good reputation, the Rs 200-crore Lekcon Infrastructure is involved in road construction in Balimela, Kalimela and Padia areas of Malkangiri district, apart from roads and irrigation projects in other parts of the state and Chhattisgarh. It also has a small raw materials mixing plant near Potrel village.
The employees had left Hyderabad on Thursday and had crossed the border into Orissa from Khammam. They were nearing Potrel in Malkangiri district where they allegedly were to hand over the explosives to Maoists when they were intercepted.
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