[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] sudden spurt in crime has unnerved the people of Bihar and poses a serious challenge to the administrative skills of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Facing criticism from both his ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the BJP-led Opposition, Nitish must get cracking or else he risks losing a great deal of faith that the state reposed in his leadership in the assembly elections. At stake is not only his personal reputation but also the larger issue of development of Bihar and exploitation of its investment opportunities.
the Opposition is accusing the Nitish government of paving the way for return of the “Jungle Raj II”, something which Prime Minister Narendra Modi kept hammering during his whirlwind election campaign In Bihar…
When RJD chief Lalu Prasad blames a section of the police bosses for not acting against the criminals, he may have a point. It is no secret that several top police officers have their own political and caste agenda. But the million dollar question is why the same set of officers had ensured a relatively peaceful Bihar during the last ten years, when RJD was in the Opposition?
There is no denying the fact that the emergence of the RJD as the single largest party in Bihar has acted like oxygen to a whole lot of criminal elements who thrived during the 15 years of Lalu-Rabri era when kidnapping for ransom became a flourishing industry and thousands of traders and professionals fled to other states by selling their immovable assets at throwaway prices. It was a time when the victims did not dare to even register FIRs and the police shuddered before mafia dons and their henchmen. In that dark era in Bihar, crime got state patronage in a way that has rarely happened in the country elsewhere.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]ifteen years down the line, the much-maligned Lalu Prasad seems to be a transformed man. Obviously, he realises that the blame for any collapse of law and order will be squarely put on him and his caste men. That’s why Lalu and his party have been critical of the rise in the crime graph in the state.
There are two aspects of rise in the crime graphs. One, re-assertion by the Bihar’s organised crime syndicate that was primarily engaged in kidnapping and extracting levy from companies and their officers involved in executing road, power and other and development projects. This menace was at its peak when Rabri Devi was in power between 1996 and 2004. The JD(U)-BJP led government kept this elements under check and the state was a picture of relative calm and tranquility. All of a sudden, after Nitish returned to power for the third time, these elements have risen from a ten-year hibernation and started foraging again. Somewhere, a message has gone that criminals and organised mafia can breathe easy now that RJD was the Big Brother of the alliance government. The reality may be far from different, but it is perception that matters in politics.
The second component of law and order decline is the rise in small crimes like robbery, theft, road rage, molestation etc. There has been a sharp increase in such incidents, so much so that the Opposition is accusing the Nitish government of paving the way for return of the “Jungle Raj II”, something which Prime Minister Narendra Modi kept hammering during his whirlwind election campaign In Bihar.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]fter the gunning down of two engineers in Darbhanga and killing of yet another in Muzzafarpur, the RJD has gone on the offensive against Nitish Kumar with senior party leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh holding the Chief Minister responsible for the law and order situation in the state. This has invited angry outbursts from the JD (U). While the two alliance partners spar, the Opposition is smiling and people of Bihar are suffering. It’s time that Nitish, who has a proven track record on the law and order front, acts against the crime syndicate. If he fails to act swiftly, the New Year could turn out to be a nightmare for the state.
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