Patna: Ten murders have been reported within a span of 24 hours in Bihar. The chief engineer of the state’s Water Resources Department – accused of burning a contractor alive last week – has still not been arrested. On the other hand, a gangster reportedly celebrated his birthday inside a jail two days ago. Following these developments, opposition leaders have raised questions on the much-hyped claim of “sushashan [rule of law]” by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Recently, a spurt of crimes in the state has affected the common people, while the criminals are having a field day. Incidents of serious crimes including 10 murders in the last 24 hours is not an isolated case; murders, rape, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, loot, robbery and chain snatching have become common as per the reports in the local dailies in the last few days.
Opposition parties including Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress, Hindustani Awam Morcha, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) attacked the NDA government led by Nitish Kumar for its total failure regarding the law and order situation in the state. Opposition leaders also taunted BJP-JD-U government saying that its engine had suffered a “breakdown” or had “developed a snag”.
Bihar opposition leader in the state Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav, said: “Inmates are enjoying birthday parties in Bihar jails. BJP MLA flaunts a gun atop an elephant. Nitish Kumar’s JD-U MLA threatens a civil surgeon saying he’ll break his bones. The DGP fears for his own life, cops are getting gunned down. The CM shields corrupt officials. Citizens are losing lives to crimes, AES, flood and drought.”
Tejashwi further questioned if Nitish Kumar is losing the image of “sushashan babu” carefully crafted over a decade ago. “Every day, scams are getting unearthed. Helpless citizens are losing lives to crimes. Hospitals have become a place to suffer and lose lives due to the government apathy. Chief Minister shields criminals, mafia, rapists and the corrupt. But make no mistake. This is Nitish Ji's media-managed Jungleraj, Kushasan,” Tejashwi said.
Former Speaker of Bihar Assembly, Uday Narain Choudhary, along with RJD MLA Bhai Virendra at a press conference on Monday demanded a probe by ED into assets of absconding chief engineer Murlidhar Singh, who had set a contractor Ramashankar Singh on fire in Gopalganj district after he reportedly refused to pay a bribe of Rs 15 lakh to the chief engineer.
Bhai Virendra said Rana Pratap Singh, son of Ramashankar Singh, who had lodged an FIR against the chief engineer, should be provided security, as there is a threat to his life. “Absconding chief engineer should be arrested and the police should confiscate his house soon,” they demanded.
In a bid to corner Nitish Kumar over the law and order situation in the state, former CM and HAM chief Jitan Ram Manjhi too said that the law and order has reached its lowest point. “Police have been busy making money in the name of liquor prohibition from liquor mafia, criminals have no fear now.”
CPI(M) state secretary Avadessh Kumar said that lawlessness has increased; there is no rule of law except in papers. CPI(ML) leader Kunal said, “Both governance and rule of law have become only political slogans of the ruling NDA.”
CPI state secretary Satnarayan Singh said that poor people have become soft target of the mob violence, but the government is busy in propaganda of rule of law.
Interestingly, Nitish Kumar's JD-U has came up with new political slogans to project him as the ultimate face for chief minister state assembly polls to be held next year. Several big posters are seen in Patna that read: “Kyun karein vichar, thike toh hai Nitish Kumar (Why to even discuss options when Nitish Kumar is doing well).”
Opposition leaders have questioned this new slogan.
Ahead of last Assembly polls in 2015 – when Nitish Kumar had joined hands with Lalu Prasad's RJD, JD-U had coined the slogan: ‘Bihar mein bahaar ho, Nitishe Kumar ho (Let Bihar flourish under Nitish Kumar)’.