The office of the National Highways Authority of India at Kalamassery here on Thursday was vandalized by unidentified miscreants claiming to be affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
In an attack similar to that at the office of Nitta Gelatin India Limited at Panampilly Nagar in November last year, the vandals pulled files out of the shelves at the NHAI office onto the floor and set fire to a few of them. The incident occurred between 8.30 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Police said there were no eyewitnesses to the incident. The building also does not have any CCTV cameras. “A woman who works as a sweeper at the office arrived around 7 a.m. and left by 8.30 a.m. As usual, she left the building unlocked for a member of staff who arrived around 9.15 a.m.,” said Kalamassery circle inspector of police C.J. Martin. The man informed higher officials and the police when he found smoke coming out of the office and a few files lying on the floor in flames. The attackers left pamphlets protesting against the acquisition of land for the National Highway expansion and privatization of public organizations. The pamphlets claimed that the attack was carried out by CPI (Maoist). ‘CPI (Maoist)’ was also scrawled in black letters on the walls of the office.
Police are yet to identify how many people were involved in the attack or who they were. Officials suspect that those involved in the Nitta Gelatin attack may have a hand in Thursday’s incident. The team investigating the Nitta Gelatin attack arrived at the NHAI office to inspect the spot. NHAI officials are inspecting which of the files were destroyed in the attack.