A labourer working in a road construction project was blindfolded, attacked and nailed to a bridge by unknown persons in Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat district on Wednesday.

Sunil Baware (26) was sleeping in a workers colony near a construction site in Kundekata village, when he was attacked around midnight. The project was being undertaken under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

Mr. Baware was bleeding profusely when rescued seven hours later. He was rushed to a primary health centre for treatment.

While some media reports claimed the attack was orchestrated by the Maoists, Balaghat police have not confirmed the role of the rebels yet.

Reports also claimed Mr. Baware, along with other labourers, was “threatened with dire consequences if he continued to be a part of the PMGSY project.”

“As of now, we are not sure if the Maoists were behind this incident. The man was blindfolded and attacked at midnight, which is not the modus operandi of the Maoists. They usually carry out their attacks fearlessly,” Balaghat SP Sachin Atulkar told The Hindu.

“But we have not ruled out any possibility yet and would be able to say anything conclusively only after thorough investigations,” he said.

Balaghat is one of the eight Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts of Madhya Pradesh, although, it is more of a “safe haven” than an area of operation for the ultras.

However, last year, Union minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh was forced to cancel his trip to the district at the eleventh hour because of intelligence inputs indicating a death threat from the Maoists.