Patna: With crime out of control in Bihar, the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has an upper hand in the coalition after it won 73 Assembly seats in the polls last year, is reportedly strongly stressing to adopt the police encounter model of Yogi Adityanath to get rid of criminals and control the increasing crime rate in the state.state seems to be a house divided on whether to adopt the police encounter policy of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath or Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s model to check and improve law and order in the state.
Several BJP MLAs have publicly demanded to follow the ‘police encounter model’, claiming it to be the only way to control spurt in crimes reported in the recent months.
Meanwhile, leading the Janata Dal-United, with only 43 MLAs who won last year and two more MLAs who joined later, Nitish Kumar seems to be a weak chief minister.
The BJP MLAs’ pressure on the Adityanath model for crime control has come as an embarrassment for Nitish Kumar, who has made repeated claims of sushasan and kanoon ka raj (good governance and rule of law) in the state. His party MLAs have even countered their ally, BJP’s leaders, saying that Nitish Kumar’s model is adequate to control crimes.
The division emerged with two BJP MLAs, Pawan Jaiswal and Mithlesh Kumar, stating that the ‘police encounter model of Yogi Adityanath’ is best to control crimes in Bihar in view of growing law and order problem.
However, this is not the first time that such a demand has been made by BJP in the state. Earlier in January, a few BJP leaders including Bihar Minister Amrendar Pratap Singh, MLA Nitin Navin and MP Janardhan Singh Sigriwal had favoured encounters of criminals similar to the ones taking place in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier, in 2018 and 2019 too, some BJP leaders voiced support for elimination of criminals through police encounters in the state. They had said then that encounters are the best way to create a sense of fear among the criminals.
However, unlike in the past, BJP’s ally JD-U leaders have reacted strongly against such demands, claiming that only Nitish Kumar’s model is suitable for Bihar. JD-U leader and Minister Ashok Choudhary reportedly said, “Since last 15-16 years, Nitish Kumar’s model is in operation in the state and is successful.”
Another JD-U MLA Gopal Mandal reiterated Choudhary’s statement and asserted that there is no need of encounter model in Bihar.
The fissures have strongly emerged as the state is witnessing increasing lawlessness. As per reports, apart from the killing of the Police Sub Inspector by liquor mafia in Sitamarhi district recently, over a dozen incidents of murder have been reported across the state in last few days as well as cases of rapes, kidnapping, extortion, loot of banks, robbery and other crimes. The numbers indicate that the law-and-order situation is not exactly in control in Bihar.
In the last three months, traders, businessmen, contractors and private company officials have been soft targets of criminals in Bihar. Taking this in view, different bodies of traders expressed its concern and urged the CM to provide safety and security to traders and businessmen.
Opposition leader, Tejashwi Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, who has been regularly attacking Nitish Kumar, said that the CM has failed to maintain law and order and is unable to run the state. “The government has failed to control crimes as the day-by-day graph is rising. The entire police have been put to enforce prohibition but the truth is that Bihar is a dry state only on paper because liquor is available everywhere and selling like hot cakes,” he had said, highlighting the real situation in the state.
Last month Nitish Kumar repeatedly directed top police officials to control the crime and
improve the law-and-order situation . He had already visited the police headquarters twice in December 2020 and January 2021. He had then warned of action against officials found shirking work and asked them to get a grip on the situation.
According to official data from the state government, last year – January to December 2020 – witnessed 3,149 murders in Bihar, an average of nine murders per day. Further, the state recorded 8,004 kidnapping cases and 42 kidnapping for ransom last year. Similarly 1,438 rape cases, 31,971 cases of theft, 4,031 cases of looting, 170 dacoity cases and 12 bank dacoity and 11 bank robbery cases were registered in Bihar, according to the website of Bihar Police.
The situation is noteworthy as rule of law was the main selling point for Nitish Kumar after he came to power in November 2005, using the same tool to target his political rival Lalu Prasad Yadav, chief of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Kumar has repeatedly blamed the RJD chief for “jungle raj” during his party’s rule from 1990 to 2005.