Indian police hunt for thieves who stole 500-tonne iron bridge

Villagers believed men were government officials

Maroosha Muzaffar
Sunday 10 April 2022 11:48
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<p>A group of thieves stole a 60-feet long, and 12-feet high bridge in Bihar. Screengrab</p>

A group of thieves stole a 60-feet long, and 12-feet high bridge in Bihar. Screengrab

The Indian police are looking for members of a gang who posed as officials from the government’s irrigation department to dismantle a 60ft-long, 500-tonne iron bridge and most likely sold it off in parts as scrap.

The group of thieves used gas cutters and earthmoving machinery to break down an abandoned bridge in Amiyawar village, about 150km from Patna in eastern India.

Villagers had reportedly earlier requested the irrigation department to take apart the bridge, built over a canal almost 45 years ago, as it was no longer being used.

And so, they believed the men were government officials who had come to cater to their request.

Gandhi Chaudhary, 29, a villager, told Reuters: “People came with heavy machinery, gas cutters and worked for two days during the day to dismantle the bridge.”

Earlier this week, the scrap metal from the bridge was loaded into a truck and taken away.

“We have identified some members of the gang and some are yet to be tracked down. They destroyed public property and stole a bridge,” Subash Kumar, a police official said.

“An inquiry has been ordered and we are investigating how and when the bridge was stolen.”

Locals filed a police complaint on 8 April.

“Even three days ago, the structure of the bridge was there but suddenly it disappeared and we informed local officials,” Suresh Kumar, a villager from Amiyawar, told The Hindu.

It took three days for the thieves to dismantle the bridge and take the scrap away. Only when the villagers realised that the men were not from the department and had left without a word, did they realise that this may have been a scam.

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