Is Bihar entering a phase of Jungle Raj 2.0?

Patna (IANS) While the police in Patna are facing criticism over the sensational murder of an Indigo state head, a section of people in Bihar are apprehensive that they might be entering into a phase of ‘Jungle Raj 2.0’.

Indigo airlines station manager, Rupesh Kumar Singh (40), was allegedly shot dead by criminals near the Shastri Nagar police station area in Patna on Tuesday.

The murder of the Indigo state head brings back the fearful memories of Airtel GM’s murder at Bahadurpur Gumti in Patna in 2005, the kidnapping of Bharat Singh and a series of criminal acts which took place during the Lalu Prasad-Rabri Devi regime between 1990 and 2005. The high crime rate during that period even led to the downfall of the RJD in 2005.

Now, the Nitish Kumar government is facing similar criticism over the growing crime graph in the state ever since he returned as Bihar Chief Minister for a seventh time in November 2020.

In a bid to bring down the crime graph, the Nitish Kumar government had started operation ‘Ganga Snan’ during 2005-2007 when several notorious criminals were silently eliminated by the police or were put behind bars. On may recall the famous encounter of dreaded gangster Amresh Singh in Khagaria, or the killing of gangster Guddu Sharma in an encounter in Delhi. Many of Bihar’s most notorious gangsters, such as Surajbhan Singh, Anant Singh and Mohamad Sahabuddin, were put behind bars during that period.

It was a secret operation carried out by the Bihar police and the STF to eliminate the criminals, when the government had given a free hand to the police. Hence, there are no official records of the encounters that took place during that period.

Sources say that due to the impact of the operation, Nitish Kumar managed to attain the image of ‘Sushashan Babu’ in Bihar.

Now the question is whether the Nitish Kumar government would again adopt a similar modus operendi to check the rising crime graph in the state.

The Chief Minister, who also holds the home portfolio, is under immense pressure following the murder of Rupesh Singh. The leaders of his alliance partner BJP in particular are making aggressive statements to corner the CM.

Janardan Sigriwal, BJP MP from Maharajganj, said: “Killers of Rupesh Singh should be hanged at the busy chowks of the city in broad daylight. If any amendment is required to do this, the government should proceed with it. Criminals cannot allowed to be let off. In the case of Rupesh Singh, Patna police have to expose the planner.”

Earlier, Nitin Naveen, BJP MLA from Bankipur, had asked the Bihar government to endorse the Uttar Pradesh model of encounter.

Union Minister R.K. Singh said that the Bihar government should suspend callous police officers who have failed to control law and order in Patna.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has already said that Nitish Kumar has failed to control the law and order situation in Bihar and should resign from his post or give the home portfolio to some other minister.

Retaliating to Tejashwi Yadav, Nikhil Anand, the chief spokesperson of BJP, said: “Law and order is a concern for us and the NDA government is capable of handling it. This is the same government that managed to put breaks on crimes between 2005 and 2007. During the Lalu-Rabri regime, criminals like Mohamad Sahabuddin operated freely.”

Meanwhile, the Bihar police have claimed that they have got some leads in the Indigo case and the criminals will be apprehended very soon.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rajesh Kumar Prabhakar said: “We have some clues about this case. Several teams of Patna police and STF are raiding different premises at the moment. The accused will be put behind bars soon.”

Rupesh Singh was killed on Tuesday night when he was returning from the airport after receiving Covid-19 vaccines.

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