Patna: The fear of lawlessness is haunting the common man in Bihar again, with the state witnessing an increasing number of crimes since the new National Democratic Alliance government came to power two weeks ago.
Three people have been killed in separate incidents in Patna, the state capital, in the last 24 hours. Shocking reports of the killing of a woman and her two minor children in Nawada district on Monday raised fears of a deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
Ironically, the recently-concluded election campaign, NDA’s star campaigners, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and BJP president J.P. Nadda warned that jungle raj (lawlessness) would return if the people voted for the opposition Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) to power.
Since Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) took oath as Chief Minister, along with two deputy chief ministers from the BJP, on November 16, more than 30 incidents of murder, gangrape, kidnapping for ransom, extortion threats and loot have been reported in the state. The cases reflect a ground reality – criminals free to prosper with the police failing to keep them in check.
It appears that the self-proclaimed double engine government led by Nitish Kumar, who hardly misses an opportunity to remind the people that he has established rule of law in Bihar, is failing on the front.
Take for instance the killing of a 40-year-old government school teacher on Saturday night near Chiraiyatand bridge in the heart of Patna. She, along with her husband, were on their way to the Patna railway station. She was reportedly killed by criminals during a robbery. The incident occurred just a few hours after the CM conducted a review of the law and order situation here and directed top police officials to rein in crime.
On Sunday, unidentified criminals shot a driver dead and looted his vehicle on NH-30 under Fatuha police station in Patna and in another incident, a fish seller was killed near Danapur in Patna.
The incidents illustrate a spurt in crime in Bihar over the last few days. More than a dozen killings were reported in the state after the NDA government returned to power in mid-November.
“We are really scared of moving from one place to another at night,” Mantu Singh, a resident of Arwal, who was in Patna to purchase clothes for a marriage in his family, said. Singh's views was echoed by Sarwar Ansati, a resident of Paliganj in Patna. “Crimes have increased and criminals have no fear of the police. If criminals can kill people in Patna itself, what about rural areas?” he asked.
Residents of Patna are worried too. “Nitish Kumar should rein in crimes or the situation will go out of control. People should be provided safety and security instead of tall claims of rule of law,” Prabhu Yadav, a local businessman, said.
Just a couple of days ago, two people, considered close to ruling JD(U) MLA Pappu Pandey, were shot dead in Gopalganj district. Similarly, on November 27, a youth was shot dead in Rohtas district and another youth was killed in Bhagalpur district.
There were incidents of killing reported from the districts of Satan, Gaya, Nalanda, Buxar, Gopalganj and Siwan. Over two dozen people were shot and seriously injured by criminals in different places in the state between November 16 and 30.
“The series of incidents have again exposed the serious lack of law and order in the state. It is a big myth created by the ruling NDA that rule of law and governance were put in place,” CPI (M) leader Arun Kumar Mishra said.
Interestingly, while the murder cases have created a sense of fear and panic among the people, Nitish Kumar continues to maintain his silence.
Bihar’s opposition leader, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, had attacked Nitish Kumar and called the incidents an example of maha jungle raj. “There is no law and order and the jrule of law hardly exists,” he said, adding that while the CM claims that he will not compromise with crime, corruption or communalism, he has surrendered before criminals in his self-proclaimed sushasan raj (good governance).