A 42-year-old bus owner was killed in indiscriminate firing near Patna’s Bairiya stand late on Wednesday due to a dispute over agency, supremacy and extortion. His assailants surrounded him from all sides and started firing at him. Not only this, there have been reports of 11 such firing incidents in the last two weeks from the Bihar capital, putting a question mark over the law and order situation in the state.
In these incidents, five people have been killed and six are undergoing treatment. They took place in Kadamkuan, Kankarbagh, Shastri Nagar, Gandhi Maidan and Agamkuan police station areas.
The incidents have given the opposition in Bihar an opportunity to slam the Nitish Kumar-led Mahagathbandhan government with many calling this the return of ‘jungle raj’.
“Crime has become prime. This is reminding us of the old days. There is no doubt that this is ‘jungle raj 2’. Earlier, Patna was stable. If people are unsafe in the capital, think of the situation in the interiors of Bihar. The government and its machinery have drastically failed. Even police officers are not taking responsibility. It is highly deplorable,” BJP MLA Sanjeev Chaurasia told CNN-News18.
Neeraj Kumar, JD(U) MLC and national spokesperson, said while the state government had been successful in controlling organised crime, this was a “new trend” in which youths in the age group of 18 to 23 were involved.
“These incidents are not organised crime as we have controlled it. But a new trend has started in which youths in the age group of 18-23 years are involved in such crimes. There are numerous reasons behind this. Disintegration of families, alienation, dry intoxication are some. The government is constantly reviewing the nature of the crimes and taking necessary steps from time to time. The new trend is a challenge and we are working on it,” Kumar said.
Alliance partner RJD’s spokesperson Shakti Yadav said the law will take its own course and none will be spared. “Bihar is known for its governance and we ensure that criminals don’t go scot free,” he said, adding that police were probing these incidents and history-sheeters were being identified.
Patna senior superintendent of police Manavjit Singh Dhillon was unavailable for a comment. There are at least 13 IPS officers posted in the Patna district. Police claim to conduct eight types of patrolling in the state capital, but all of it goes in vain as far as preventive measures are concerned.
Devesh Kumar, BJP general secretary and MLC, said when lawbreakers turn into lawmakers, the fear of law disappears. “This is what you get while posting officers other than on merit. It’s a complete breakdown of the law and order situation and a prominent reason is political interference from bottom to top. When police stop doing their core job, ie, policing, the situation of anarchy arises,” he said.
Here are the latest shooting incidents in Bihar’s capital Patna:
February 8: Three assailants on a bike shot four hostel staff in a snatching bid near Urja Auditorium in Patel Nagar. A 12-year-old girl was also injured in the random firing.
February 8: Bus owner Kripashankar was shot dead late in the night at Masaudhi More in Agamkuan police station area. One person was injured.
January 31: There was a shooting incident when a wedding procession reached Madhur Milan marriage hall near Chiraiyatand Bridge. The groom’s cousin and the tent worker, who were standing at the gate of the hall, were shot at. Both were admitted to Patna Medical College and Hospital, but the cousin died.
January 30: A BA student was killed in a dispute between two biker gangs in Shastri Nagar’s Bind Toli. Two persons were arrested in this case. One surrendered, but half a dozen are on the run.
January 27: A student from Jehanabad died on the spot in a firing incident during the idol immersion procession at Saidpur hostel. In this case, police arrested one accused, but eight others are on the run.
January 24: In Kadamkuan’s Machua Toli, a youth was beaten up and killed. In this case, two accused surrendered while three are on the run.
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