Sharp spike in heinous crimes hurt Nitish-Lalu's efforts for a clean image

Patna, Oct 1 (IANS): After the formation of the Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar, the BJP has been saying that Jungle Raj has returned to Bihar in the last 13 months or so.

The leaders of the saffron brigade are not wrong in saying this as there has been a rise in crime in rural as well as urban areas of Bihar.

Murders, robberies, extortion, rapes and atrocities on Dalits are frequent affairs in Bihar now, with the latest being the assault on a Dalit woman in Khusrupur. On September 23 she was stripped and beaten by a man from whom she had borrowed money and one of them also urinated in her mouth.

Till now, Patna Police has only managed to arrest one of the accused and the remaining five are still at large.

This incident hit the national headlines prompting the National Commission for Women and the National Human Rights Commission to serve notices to the Bihar government and state DGP.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has claimed that strong action would be taken against the accused, but they are yet to be caught.

To make matters worse for the Nitish Kumar Government, a Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party (RLJP) leader was gunned down in Gaya and a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader was shot dead in Begusarai on Thursday.

The situation is scary, especially in rural areas, where goons rule the roost and in certain pockets they don’t even hesitate to kidnap women walking alone or travelling with their male family members.

One such incident took place in a village that comes under Haveli Kharagpur in Munger district where a 25-year-old tribal woman was gang-raped by six people.

The victim stated that she was on her way to a nearby place when the six people started teasing and molesting her. When she objected, the accused kidnapped and took her to a deserted place where they gang-raped her. After committing the crime they fled the spot. However, the district police took swift action and managed to arrest five of them.

In another heinous incident, a pregnant woman was gang-raped by six people in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district on the night of September 25. The victim had gone to answer the call of nature in a nearby agricultural field when she was kidnapped and gang-raped by the men.

An FIR was registered and three of the accused were arrested. However, the families of the accused are putting pressure on the victim to withdraw the complaint.

Such incidents remind one of the 1990-2005 era when the Lalu-Rabri government was in power.

However, Bihar Police is claiming that it has cracked many cases recently. Last week, Jitendra Singh Gangwar, ADGP, headquarter division of Bihar Police said, “We have arrested many dreaded criminals including Sanjiv Paswan alias Dara who is one of the top 10 dreaded gangsters of Madhepura, with 19 criminal cases registered against him. His arrest was made from Gwalpara area of the district.

“We have arrested five bank robbers from an area that comes under the town police station in Saran district. In Banka, we arrested Shambhu Yadav, who is among the top 10 wanted criminals of the district. We nabbed him from Mirzapur Haat area and also seized a double-barrelled gun, a loaded musket, a loaded pistol, and 315 bore cartridges from his possession

“In Jamui, a hardcore Naxal operative Mukesh Yadav, who was a fugitive for many years, was arrested by the district police from Khaira area. In Patna, six robbers were arrested by the district police.”

Bihar Police also came up with Operation Muskan to crack down on mobile phone and chain snatchers. It has also taken initiatives against cyber crimes and has been helping people who have become victims of cyber fraud.

“We have launched an awareness campaign on social media and are asking people to lodge complaints on the toll free number 1930, the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) or at the closest cyber police station of the district, if they become victims of cyber fraud,” Gangwar said.

Nitish Kumar’s ambitious project of imposing prohibition in Bihar has also failed. The state is seeing frequent hooch tragedies and seizure of liquor is happening regularly in Bihar.

This is one aspect, where the administration is dealing with the criminals. The other aspect is political where Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav are fighting a battle of perception.

Nitish Kumar was given the tag of ‘Sushasan Babu’ (good governance Babu) in the first and second tenure of his government, but as soon as he joined hands with the RJD in 2015 and formed the government, the buzz of ‘Jungle Raj returns’ began in Bihar

After the formation of the Mahagathbandhan government for the second time in Bihar, Nitish Kumar fought hard to maintain his image of ‘Sushasan Babu’.

Where the RJD is concerned, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav do not want to carry the legacy of the ‘Jungle Raj’ any longer. From 1990 to 2005, there was organised crime in Bihar. ‘Bahubalis’ like Mohammad Shahabuddin, Anand Mohan, Brij Bihari Prasad, Pappu Yadav, Anant Singh, Surajbhan Singh, Mohammed Taslimuddin, Chhotan Shukla, Bhutkun Shukla, Rajan Tiwari, Dadan Pahalwan and many others were influential in their respective territories and their criminal activities defamed the Lalu-Rabri government.

Tejashwi Yadav does not want to carry the image that Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi had and he has stayed away from the family members of Mohammad Shahabuddin. He did not allow Pappu Yadav and Anand Mohan to enter the Mahagathbandhan even though Pappu Yadav repeatedly requested Lalu Prasad Yadav to let him be a part of the Mahagathbandhan.

The recent refusal by Lalu Prasad Yadav to meet Anand Mohan at Rabri Devi’s residence is also an indication that the party wants to break from its past image.

The fact remains that the rising incidents of crime and the past associations of ‘Bahubali’ leaders with the RJD suits the BJP. They want to highlight the ‘Jungle Raj’-like situation in Bihar under the Mahagathbandhan government and compare it with Yogi Adityanath’s ‘Bulldozer’ governance in Uttar Pradesh, where dealing with crime and criminals is concerned.



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Title: Sharp spike in heinous crimes hurt Nitish-Lalu's efforts for a clean image

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