Thieves steal 500-tonne, 60-foot iron bridge in India - GulfToday

Thieves steal 500-tonne, 60-foot iron bridge in India


A videograb shows the bridge.

A gang of crafty scrap metal thieves dismantled and decamped with a 500-tonne defunct iron bridge in eastern India, police said on Saturday, pulling off the unlikely heist by pretending to be irrigation officials.

The robbing of the bridge was reported on Wednesday in the state of Bihar, one of the poorest in the country.

Police officer Subhash Kumar told reporters the thieves came in the guise of government irrigation officials.

They brought bulldozers and gas cutters and tore apart the structure before escaping with the booty over two days, Kumar said.

"They took away the scrap in a heavy vehicle," he said.

The thieves had been chipping away at the 50-year-old structure — built over a water canal — ever since another bridge nearby was opened to the public five years ago.

Police launched an investigation into the bizarre incident on Thursday but no arrests have been made so far.

A political storm started after the brazen robbery came to limelight.

After a 60-feet long iron bridge was stolen from Bihar's Rohtas district, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Saturday alleged that the thieves were inspired by Nitish Kumar and BJP leaders as the latter had "stolen" government in the state in 2020.

Since its defeat in the 2020 Assembly polls, the RJD had been alleging that the party had lost the seats due to counting malpractices and poll rigging.

"When Nitish Ji and BJP can steal the government in Bihar, stealing a bridge is not a big deal. The thieves were inspired by Nitish Kumar and BJP who had stolen the mandate," Tejashwi said in a tweet.

"Nitish Kumar and BJP, who have been ruling the state for the last 17 years, are responsible for allowing the loot of a 45 years old 500 tonne iron bridge in Rohtas.

Thieves arrived with gas cutters, JCB machines and uprooted the bridge in broad daylight. They were inspired from Nitish ji and BJP," Tejashwi alleged.

Interestingly, they took the help of local Irrigation Department officials and villagers during the removal of the iron bridge. By the time, officials could understand about theft, the thieves had fled with their "heavy" loot.

The bridge was constructed over the Arrah canal in 1972 at Amiyawar village which comes under Nasriganj police station. As by now, it became quite old and was declared dangerous, the local villagers were not using it, and using a concrete bridge adjoining it.

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