Officials in India are searching for members of a gang accused of destroying an 18-meter-long iron bridge and likely selling the parts for scrap metal.
Asserting themselves as government officials from Bihar’s irrigation department, the robbers used gas cutters and earthmovers to destroy an abandoned bridge in Amiyawar village, about 150km south of Patna, the state capital.
In India, where metal parts are stolen from public property to sell in large, unorganized scrapyards for fast money, selling metal scrap can be a lucrative business.
Residents of Amiyawar believed government officials had dismantled the old bridge, built over a water canal some three decades ago because it was no longer needed.
Bridge Sold for Scrap Metal
Residents of the village had previously submitted an application to the irrigation department to dismantle the bridge.
Gandhi Chaudhary, 29, a villager, said people worked during the day for two days to dismantle the bridge with heavy machinery. Residents asked those dismantling the bridge about their identity and were told they had been hired by the irrigation department.
The scrap metal was loaded into a vehicle earlier in the week and the site was vacated.
Subash Kumar, a police officer on the case, said the gang destroyed public property and stole a bridge. “We have identified some members of the gang, but others are still at large,” he stated.
Meanwhile, over the week to Friday, April 8, the markets for steel scrap imported into India and Pakistan diverged with prices dropping to match demand in India, while new deals in Pakistan pushed up prices because domestic steel mills sought more feed, and trade sources said.
Indian buyers continued to shy away from new deals after scrap metal prices increased by almost 20% over the past few weeks, since the start of the war in Ukraine.