April 18, 2024

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The attack, police said, took place around 10 pm on Tuesday night

Bhopal:

Two employees of a toll plaza in Madhya Pradesh fell into a well and drowned as they were running to save themselves during an attack by masked gunmen, allegedly over a toll tax dispute. The bodies of Agra’s Srinivas Parihar and Nagpur’s Shivaji Kandele were recovered from the well yesterday.

The incident, police have said, took place around 10 pm on Tuesday. Chilling footage from CCTV cameras at Dagrai toll plaza on National Highway – 44 show masked men on four bikes ride near the toll booths. They then start kicking at the doors of toll counters and some manage to enter the booths. The assailants are seen damaging computers, beating up the toll plaza staff and trying to drag them out.

The staff, it is learnt, ran into the adjoining field to save their lives when the assailants started firing in the air. As they ran, Parihar and Kandele fell into an uncovered well right behind the office and drowned.

The contract of the toll plaza between Jhansi and Gwalior changed on April 1, and it passed on to a new contractor. Some locals, it is learnt, had an understanding with the previous contractor and their vehicles allegedly cleared the toll booth without payment. The new contractor refused to play ball. This sparked a dispute and Tuesday night’s attack was planned to terrorise the new contractor, say reports.

A officer said a case has been registered against unidentified persons and probe is on.

Toll tax is a charge vehicle owners need to pay for using some expressways, tunnels, bridges etc. The amount is used for repair and maintenance. The charges vary depending on the size of the vehicle. 

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