Nitish rule sees crimes soar


Of late, there has been a spurt in crime, that too in the heart of the Capital. Sample this:
Scene I: An electronic goods trader in Danapur area, Randhir Jaiswal, is asked to cough up Rs 2 lakh as extortion. Jaiswal refuses to oblige. He is shot dead in cold blood. Scene II: A medicine stockist at Govind Mitra Road in Patna, Radhe Shyam Agarwal, is gunned down while returning home at 9 pm. The gun-toting criminals had tried to rob him before pumping bullets.

Scene III: Departmental store-keeper Raj Narain Shah is asked to pay an extortion amount. He refuses. Eventually, the businessman is shot dead.  All the three incidents, however, had one thing in common. The plot to kill the three traders was hatched at the Beur Central Jail, which, of late, has turned into a crime headquarters. Extortion calls are made by the ganglords languishing in the jail. Those who refuse to oblige are ‘taken care of’ by the new breed of criminals in the State Capital.

These incidents are a grim reminder of the ‘jungle raj’ during Lalu-Rabri era, when kidnappings, loot, extortion and murders were at its peak.

Following the series of killings, the Patna police raided the Beur jail premises and seized 28 mobile phones, SIM cards, chargers and Rs 19,000 in cash. The SIM used to demand extortion money was also recovered from the jail. “Since Netaji, a notorious criminal lodged in Beur jail, needed money to get bail, he asked me to get it from R S Agarwal and then kill him to destroy the evidence,” said Shankar Dom after he was arrested in the killing incident.

Meanwhile, the Bihar Druggists and Chemists’ Association, while deploring the police for the rise in crime graph, had made a call to down their shutters by 9 pm. But Senior SP (SSP) of Patna Vineet Vinayak assured the businessmen that the police would provide adequate security to all those traders who want to keep their shops and business establishments open till late hours.

Even Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who is aware that improved law and order had been the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of the Nitish regime, said, “It’s erroneous to say that Patna is no more safe now than it had been over the last four years. We have the brightest police officers in the State Capital.”

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