One morning, when four or five men turned up in Amiyavar village, near the city of Sasaram, with an earth excavator and gas cutting torches, the local villagers were happy. They thought the government had finally begun work on their request to remove an old, disused bridge.
For three days, the men would arrive at the site at 7am and work until dusk, chipping away at the remains of the bridge, cutting the iron with gas torches and using excavators to loosen the earth.
By the time the locals realised what was happening and informed the police, they had fled with the scrap.
“It appears that the whole operation was executed with the help of unwitting local officials of the Irrigation Department,” said Subhash Kumar, the Station House Officer (SHO) of Nasriganj police station..
“The bridge was too old and declared dangerous some time back. A new concrete bridge was constructed adjacent to the old one, and that is currently used by the locals,” said Mantu Singh, a resident of the Amiyawar village.
Taking a dig at the government over the incident, Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav said the thieves were inspired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and BJP leaders.
“If BJP and Nitish Kumar can steal the government of Bihar, then what is a bridge?” he said, apparently referring to Kumar’s JD(U) severing ties with the RJD to form a government with BJP in the state in 2017.