This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
The Times of India, Nov 11 2015
Curbing crime top task for Bihar govt
Attacks on vulnerable people rose 20 times in 10 yrs
Since 2005 the state has seen an increase in crime against vulnerable population, including women, children and Scheduled Castes. Crime against children has increased 20 times while crimes against SCs have gone up by four times. Violence against women has doubled according to analysis by think tank Swaniti Initiative. According to Swaniti lead reseacher Ravi Kiran the overall spike in crime was fuelled by kidnapping of girls (usually for marriage). Most reported cases of kidnapping are of women to compel them for marriage. With 6,570 incidents of kidnapping and abduction registered during 2014, Bihar was just behind UP and MP in absolute numbers. Crimes against children have increased from 115 in 2005 to 2,255 in 2014, an increase of close to twenty times. Interestingly though, Bihar has one of the lowest crime rates against children in the country at 5 (per lakh child population) compared to national average of 20.1. Similar to crimes against children, the total number of crime incidence against women has also increased, almost doubling between 2005 and 2014. Cruelty by husband relatives along with kidnapping and abduction form the major chunk of crimes against women in absolute terms, while Bihar has the unfortunate distinction of topping the crime rate in dowry deaths in 2014. There has been a four-fold increase in the crimes against scheduled castes in the same period. The crime rate against SCs in Bihar is more than double that of national average. In 2014, Bihar had one of the highest crime rates against SCs -only behind Goa, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. The analysis reveals that keeping in mind some bias in reporting on law and order, there can be no doubt that the number of reported cases against vulnerable communities have gone up.
India Today, May 19, 2016
Rogue elements are back in the state, casting a shadow over Nitish's alliance with Lalu's RJD.
On May 7, Rocky Yadav, 24, son of JD(U) MLC Manorama Devi and RJD muscleman Bindi Yadav, shot dead 18-year-old Aditya, when the Maruti Swift he was in with four teenagers dared to overtake Rocky's Land Rover nearly 100 km south of Patna. On May 13, just six days later, contract killers shot senior journalist Rajdeo Ranjan in Siwan. Ranjan had released a recent photograph of Bihar social welfare minister Abdul Ghafur dining with Mohammad Shahabuddin, currently lodged in Siwan jail, in the Hindi daily Hindustan. The photograph embarrassed the Nitish Kumar government, but as the recent arrests by the Bihar police indicate, infuriated Shahabuddin. Six of the 15 suspects arrested in Ranjan's murder are believed to be the gangster-politician's men.
These sensational crimes would reinforce the belief that 'Jungle Raj'-a phrase which described the 15-year spell Lalu's entry into politics brought in, beginning 1990-has returned to Bihar. The association of Bindi Yadav and Shahabuddin, though not linked directly to either murders, is a reminder of the continuing reliance of political parties on the shadowy world inhabited by the part-gangster, part-caste lord, part-contractor and part-political profiteer.
This breed of politician-criminal, who operated with impunity in Bihar's political landscape, took a backseat in the decade that followed Nitish becoming chief minister of the state in 2005. However, the RJD-JD(U) alliance sweeping to power in the November 2015 assembly elections has brought the likes of Manorama Devi and Shahabuddin back in the reckoning. Manorama, reportedly a front for her muscleman husband (Yadav was not given an RJD seat last year) was a JD(U) nominee to the legislature last year. Shahabuddin, a criminal-turned-politician and four-time MP before his 2007 conviction in a murder case made him ineligible to contest elections, is now part of the RJD's national executive. Any hope that Lalu and Nitish would purge their 'rogue darbar' of criminal-politicians after defeating the Narendra Modi-led NDA in the polls, has all but evaporated. "The magnitude of last year's mandate should have made them fearless," says a senior IPS officer. "Both are holding on to their numbers because they don't trust each other." This uncertainty has apparently emboldened the rogue elements. In the last six months, 'lawmakers' from Nitish's alliance have threatened to undo the goodwill generated by his prohibition drive and dented his image as restorer of law and order in Bihar. On January 17, JD(U) legislator Bima Bharti and JD(U) MP Santosh Kushwaha were accused of aiding the escape of Bima's husband and notorious gangster Awadesh Mandal. Though Mandal was arrested soon after, Bharti and Kushwaha's role remained suspect, with both rubbishing the allegations.
In another incident on January 17, JD(U) legislator Sarfraz Alam was accused of sexually harassing a woman passenger on board the Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express. The police arrested him a week later but let him off on a personal bond. "I doubt if the cops would have given another criminal similar leeway," says opposition leader Sushilkumar Modi of the BJP. A month later, RJD MLA from Nawada, Raj Ballabh Yadav, was accused of raping a Class 10 girl. The police failed to arrest him but Yadav surrendered on March 10. Despite the victim identifying him and the police filing a chargesheet, the case has been dragging on, triggering fears that the delay will allow the accused MLA to influence witnesses. The cases continue to pile on. In March, controversial JD(U) MLA Gopal Mandal made headlines when he threatened to chop off tongue of his opponents and later threatened to throw a senior police officer into the Ganga for stopping his car. Nitish, say bureaucrats, is a decent man. He works according to the rulebook, does not interfere in regular policing or police investigations or transferring police officials. That should be a good thing, but it allows inefficient cops to continue. In his previous terms, Nitish has worked on improving the conviction rate for offences, by imposing the Arms Act in several cases. In June 2006, a fast-track court just took two days to sentence two men to seven years in prison for raping a minor. Ranjan's killing on May 13 evidently was the last straw. Nitish ordered a CBI probe on May 16. The criticism of leading a lawless state has already begun. A soaring crime rate-arrests and registration of offences are up but conviction rates have plummeted by nearly 70 per cent (see graphic)-has been cause for concern. On April 30, Nitish confronted his top policemen at a day-long meeting and blamed them for the dip in the conviction rate. "Chargesheets should be filed on time. Ten years ago, the situation was different. Why are trials delayed?" A question shocked citizens are asking too.
Shahabuddin's highs and lows of crime life , India Today , Sept.14,2016
Weapons used, mostly illegal
Stolen AK-47s drench Bihar in blood/ 2018
From wells, drains, abandoned houses and underneath sand, the deadly AK-47 is literally sprouting across Bihar, leaving a trail of blood and terror behind.
Criminal gangs in Bihar managed to lay their hands on the legendary assault rifle in the 1990s when a good chunk of the several hundreds of them dropped by a Latvian aircraft in neighbouring Purulia district of West Bengal in 1995 found its way to the state. The dons have since augmented their arsenal of Kalashnikovs, named after their inventor, Russian general Mikhail Kalashnikov, from terrorists in J&K as well as a couple of rogue elements in security forces. If the availability of the lethal weapon with criminals posed a challenge to the poorly equipped police, the security worry escalated after AK-47s were stolen from the Central Ordnance Depot in Jabalpur, MP, in 2012. The guns have now begun to mysteriously surface in Bihar, having made an interesting journey to Munger, Muzaffarpur and beyond. Police sources said 63 of the guns have made their way into Bihar.
Four people — Md Taufir, Md Irfan, Shamsher Alam and Rizwan — have been arrested and police are combing their village, Mirzapur Bardah, and adjoining ones to look for more of the missing cache. The body count, meanwhile, continues to rise.
‘Can’t rule out Army officials’ role in AK-47 smuggling’
Two days after former Muzaffarpur mayor Samir Kumar and his driver were shot dead on September 23, district SSP Harpreet Kaur confirmed that an AK-47 had been used in the crime. A gun of the same make killed RJD leader Dina Gope in Patna on May 12. On July 3 last year, two criminals used the weapon in a crime they committed near a private school in Motihari in East Champaran district.
Notorious don Bablu Dubey was riddled with bullets from an AK-47 near the Bettiah civil court in West Champaran on May 11, 2017. Ditto in the murder of LJP leader and muscleman Brijnathi Singh in Patna on February 5, 2016. “This weapon is used to ensure that the targeted person is killed at any cost,” an IPS officer said.
The Muzaffarpur killings came after an inter-state arms smuggling racket was busted in September in which seven people were arrested. One of the accused, former Armyman Purshottam Rajak, had revealed to cops during interrogation that “at least 63
AK-47s” have been smuggled out from the Jabalpur ordnance depot to Bihar since 2012. Eight such rifles were recovered from various places in Munger recently.
Another senior IPS officer said police had information on the smuggling of AK-47 and AK-56 rifles from insurgency-hit north-eastern states before the COD racket was busted.
These assault rifles are procured at Rs 6 to 8 lakh per piece, the officer said. “We suspect weapons smuggled from Jabalpur to Bihar were sold in other states as well. Bihar has a good market for arms smugglers with Munger as its base,” he added.
Munger police along with sleuths of the special task force (STF) recovered 12 AK-47s from Bardah last Friday. Babu Ram, the Munger SP, said the consignment was found in two sacks hidden in a well. Since August 29, Munger police alone have recovered 20 AK-47s. While cops in Munger have arrested five arms smugglers, their Jabalpur counterparts have nabbed four, including retired Army armourer Rajak, COD storekeeper Suresh Thakur and two others. There have been arrests as far away as in Bagdogra, north Bengal.
“We can’t rule out the involvement of some serving or retired Army officials in the arms smuggling,” a senior IPS officer said.