Patna: The much hyped good governance and rule of law of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was exposed in his home district, Nalanda, where a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader was shot dead by unidentified criminals, and an assistant sub inspector of police was shot and seriously injured in an attack on police by a mob on January 1.
Both the incidents are an example of a spurt in crimes in Bihar in the last few months. The state has witnessed a number of killings, particularly of businessmen, traders, property dealers and contractors in the last two months.
RJD leader, Indal Paswan, was shot dead near Makra village when he was on his way to attend a social function in a nearby village. His body was recovered from a field early Wednesday.
Angry over his killing, hundreds of local villagers protested on Wednesday by blocking roads and burning tyres in Nalanda. Protesters raised slogans against the district police and the state government.
Assistant Sub Inspector Akhilesh Kumar Singh, who was posted at the Dipnagar police station, was shot when a police team visited Mahanandpur village after informed about an alleged violent dispute between groups from two neighbouring villages. A police vehicle was also damaged by the mob. The injured ASI was admitted in a hospital, where a bullet was removed from his body.
Nalanda Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Porika told Newsclick that four suspected persons have been arrested in connection with the two incidents. "Police have initiated the investigation in both the cases. Action will be taken against accused," he said.
Interestingly, the two incidents took place within hours of Nitish Kumar’s visit to his ancestral village Kalyanbigha in Nalanda, where he paid floral tribute and respect to his mother on the occasion of her death anniversary.
Ruling Janata Dal - United’s spokesperson Sanjay Singh downplayed the killing of the RJD leader, and attack on police, saying that the rule of law prevails in Bihar.
“Chief minister Nitish Kumar can never compromise with the rule of law. The state government’s policy is of zero tolerance against crimes” Singh said.
However, reports of murders, rapes, lynching, kidnapping, extortion, loot and robberies are pouring daily, as the people remain concerned and frightened.
According to local Hindi dailies, a jewellery trader was shot, and robbed for Rs 7 lakh in Vaishali district on Tuesday, while another jewellery trader was shot, and seriously injured in Sitamarhi district.
An old man was allegedly lynched by a mob on suspicion of cattle theft in Araria district on Monday night. The video of the alleged crime was reportedly posted on social media. After the video went viral, local police took notice of this unreported incident on Tuesday.
A district police officer said that the victim was a criminal, and an accused in a case related to arms. However, he refused to divulge more information.
In the viral video, the victim can be seen pleading for pardon, and requesting not to kill him.
Bihar’s industrialists and businessmen on December 26 had demanded security for them from the state government in view of killing of several businessmen in the state. The state government has announced setting up Bihar Industrial Security Force on the lines of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
According to reports, nearly a dozen businessmen have been shot dead in broad daylight in different parts of the state. The latest victim being a businessman, who was allegedly gunned down last Sunday in Vaishali district. Criminals also allegedly opened fire in Buxar district on Sunday to incite fear after businessmen refused to pay rangdari (extortion) tax to them.
Angry over killing of the businessmen, hundreds of businessmen and traders took out a candle march in Patna on December 24. Bihar Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav also joined the march.
Protesting businessmen and traders shouted slogans and demanded arrests of criminals behind the killing.
Gunjan Khemka, an industrialist, was shot dead on December 20 in Hajipur in Vaishali district, which led to panic among businessmen and traders of the area.
Khemka, son of Patna's well-known businessman Gopal Khemka, was targeted on way to his factory in Hajipur, about 30 km from Patna.
Police are yet to make any breakthrough. Twenty-four hours after Khemka's killing, four businessmen, including K.P. Shahi, the owner of Shahi construction company, was also shot dead in Darbhanga district.
Congress, RJD, Left parties, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) have been repeatedly raising the issue of deterioration of law and order in the state following the incline in crimes in recent weeks.