Crime hogs limelight in desert state

2011 a turbulent year for Rajasthan, thanks to communal clashes, tainted police

Crime and a controversial police dominated the news this year in Rajasthan. The Dara encounter case made major news, while in another case Rajasthan cadre IPS officer M N Dinesh was convicted in connection with the Sohrabbudin fake encounter case.

Two more IPS officers, A K Jain and A Ponnuchammy, face prosecution for allegedly masterminding the fake encounter of Dara Singh.

While Ponnuchammy surrendered to the CBI, which is still investigating the case, Jain is absconding.

Gopalgarh incident

Ten Muslims were killed in police firing in Gopalgarh over a land dispute between two communities. The ensuing riots had shaken the government, with looting and arson going out of control. Muslims organisations accused the police of bias and they demanded the resignation of home minister Shanti Dhariwal and even the chief minister.

Though the CM managed to save his seat by making Dhariwal leave the home department, the incident tarnished the image of the state Congress. The state Congress used to take pride in the fact that no incident of police firing had happened under its rule.

Now, the incident assumes political implications for the Congress in UP with Assembly polls approaching. The Congress has been trying to woo Muslims in UP, which constitute a sizable portion of the vote bank and hence, have a bearing on the outcome of the election. The incident came as a rude shock to the Congress, which is depending on the minority vote bank to regain power in UP.

Jaipur blast

The acquittal of the 14 accused in the Jaipur blast case exposed the state police’s tardy investigation. The police had arrested youths belonging to a minority community and then charged them, allegedly under pressure from the ruling dispensation. But the police could not prove their allegations and the case fell apart in court. The innocent youths were behind bars for over three years.

Tainted police

The police officials who were part of the conspiracy to fabricate charges against youths in the Jaipur blast case are now facing trail in the Dara encounter case as well. The police were also in the news for delay in acting against fraudulent financial companies. These firms had duped several investors of several crore of rupees after promising them high returns. According to investors, the police failed to take action against the companies even after receiving complaints. The police were accused of being hand-in-glove with the culprits.

Dangerous mob

One of the most infamous cases this year was the death of a sub-inspector on March 18 after a mob set him on fire.

The victim, Phool Muhammad, was the station house officer of Mantown, Sawai Madhopur district. A mob set fire to his vehicle while he was still inside. His killing led to clashes between two minority communities. The incident was widely reported in the media.

Bhanwari Devi case

Towards the end of the year, the Bhanwari Devi case came to the fore and it hogged the limelight for over three months. Bhanwari Devi, 36, a nurse, went missing on September 1. She went missing after a CD allegedly showing her in a compromising position with a former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna surfaced.

Bhanwari’s husband Amarchand alleged that she was abducted at the behest of the minister. The incident was another major embarrassment to the Congress government in Rajasthan.

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