Bhubaneswar: Police were seeking to arrest members of a gang who broke down a 60-foot-long iron bridge and possibly sold it as scrap metal, officials said on Sunday. In Bihar, robbers posing as government officials attached to the Irrigation Department used gas cutters and earthmoving machinery to break down an abandoned bridge in Amiyavar village, about 150 kilometers south of state capital Patna.
Selling metal scrap can be a lucrative business in India, where theft of metal parts from public property is common in large, unorganized scrapyards for quick cash.
A police official said residents of Amiyavar had assumed that government officials had decided to demolish the old bridge over the water canal nearly three decades ago, as it was not in use.
A resident said the villagers had earlier submitted an application to the irrigation department to demolish the bridge.
“People came with heavy machinery, gas cutters and worked for two days a day to break the bridge,” said 29-year-old Gandhi Choudhary, a villager. The locals asked the workers about their identity and they were told that they were hired by the irrigation department to demolish the bridge.
Earlier in the week scrap metal was loaded into a vehicle and the site was evacuated.
Subhash Kumar, a police officer probing the case, said, “We have identified some gang members and some are yet to be traced. They destroyed public property and stole a bridge.”
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