Patna: There seems to be more than a shred of truth in the Opposition’s accusations of complete lawlessness in Bihar. Local reports mention a spurt in crime including murder, rape, kidnapping for ransom, loot, dacoity and the growing clout of the liquor mafia in the ‘dry state’.
The last 24 hours in Bihar witnessed over a dozen murders including that of a home guard jawan, a hotel owner and an engineering student. There have also been incidents of rape, shooting, loot, dacoity and of the police being attacked by the liquor mafia.
According to official data from the state government, the first nine months last year – January to September, 2020 – witnessed 2,406 murders in Bihar, an average of nine murders per day. The state government has not revealed official figures for crimes committed in the months of October and November last year.
As per official data, there were about 22,600 cases of theft, 1,300 cases of looting, 170 dacoity cases and 5,700 kidnapping cases between January and September last year.
The numbers indicate that the law and order situation is not exactly in control in Bihar, exposing clams made by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of “sushasan and kanoon ka raj (good governance and rule of law)”.
With matters getting out of hand the CM visited the Bihar police headquarters again on Wednesday to review the law and order situation with top police officers. This is the second time in the last two weeks that Nitish has had to speak to the police about the rising crime graph. He had already visited the police headquarters on December 23. He had then warned of action against officials found shirking work and asked them get a grip on the situation.
The CM had reviewed the law and order situation three times within a fortnight last month after the new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power in mid-November last year. Kumar had said that maintaining law and order was the main priority of the state government and added that he had instructed top police officials to check and control crime and take action against criminals. However, it has not allayed concerns raised by opposition parties.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Arun Kumar Mishra said the new NDA government in the state has totally failed in maintaining law and order. “Crime is out of control and criminals rule the streets and target people at their will. There is no fear of law enforcement agencies. The situation is bad,” Mishra said.
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.
With the tables now turned, the RJD chief attacked the CM over the law and order situation.
बिहार के अनुकंपाई मुख्यमंत्री सह एडिटर इन चीफ़ अपनी लाख एडिटिंग के बावजूद अखबारों को रक्तरंजित होने से रोक नहीं पा रहे है।
बिहार में अपराध की सुनामी आई हुई है।प्रतिदिन सैंकड़ों लोग मारे जा रहे है। मुख्यमंत्री कान में तेल डालकर संवेदनहीनता और स्वार्थ की गहरी नींद में सो रहे है। pic.twitter.com/ilSbFUawyx
— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) January 6, 2021
Bihar’s opposition leader, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, has been regularly attacking the CM, who also has charge of the home ministry.