Police claim they traced them to Chandramandi forest in Bihar

Seven employees working at a construction site at the Bihar-Jharkhand border, allegedly abducted by Maoists over a week ago, returned home on Tuesday.

Jharkhand and Bihar police officials, who started the search operations on December 22 along with four companies of paramilitary forces of Jharkhand Jaguar, said they had traced the workers to Chandramandi forest in Jamui in Bihar on Monday.

The workers were working on a Rs 2.5 crore-bridge being built in Deoghar, 30 km from Jamui, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

“We had finished dinner when 9-10 men in olive green uniforms, armed with guns, reached the site,” recounted Petrus Oraon, 28, from Latehar who was working as a JCB driver for K.K. Builders, a Jamshedpur-based company. “They asked me where the munshi [accountant] was. He was not at the site then. They made us stand in a queue, 22 of us. They then asked seven of us to stand aside after asking us what work we did there.

Anuj Chaudhary, 19, who worked as a night guard, said the men had used his phone to call the site accountant. “They asked me stand away from the others. They made me call the munshi, and I heard them ask what the project was worth. Then they asked for Rs. 1 crore. A day later, I heard them ask for Rs. 70 lakh.”

Deoghar’s Superintendent of Police Prabhat Kumar said the workers were abducted by the East Bihar North Jharkhand Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoist).

The workers said they were allowed to walk out of the forest.

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