Patna,(BiharTimes): North-eastern districts of Bihar have been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the last few months. The era of Pappu Yadav might have been over, but the region has now seen the rise of some other strongmen. What is more they are being backed by the powers that be in Patna as blatantly––or may be even more––as in the past.
The north-east Bihar was first rocked by the killing of Purnea BJP MLA, Raj Kishore Kesri, by the principal of a private school, Rupam Pathak. She alleged that the MLA and his aide had been sexually exploiting him for the last few years and that she had stabbed the legislator to death when all the options have been closed.
This created a storm in the political circle and women’s group strongly criticised the deputy chief minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, of influencing the probe. They were upset over the way Modi called Rupam as blackmailer just after she killed Kesari on Jan 4, 2011 at his residence.
Though the media in the state largely remained silent the administration cracked down on Navlesh Pathak, a local journalist, who highlighted the plight of Rupam Pathak. Incidentally, no journalists’ association came to the rescue of Navlesh.
Then came June 3, 2011 barbaric killing of four Muslims in Bhajanpura village of Forbesganj sub-division of Araria district. The police not only killed a pregnant woman, but also an infant. A local cameraman shot a photo showing how a homeguard jawan jumped over the body of a seriously injured youth till be breathed his last.
The local villagers had been demanding passage over the plot of land acquired by BIADA and allotted to industrialist, Saurabh Agarwal, for building a starch factory. The villagers were of the view that once the industry comes up they would be left with no road to reach Forbesganj.
As Saurabh Agarwal is the son of BJP MLC, Ashok Agarwal, the administration was bound to come to his support. This was what the villagers argued.
But then came the Tuesday (July 17) morning incident. The same Ashok Agarwal, a big businessman and industrialist, was accused of killing his own employee Dhiraj Mahto in Katihar when he refused to work in his establishment.
The incident sparked widespread anger and people took to streets of Katihar to protest against the killing. Though they demanded Ashok’s arrest he is still at large 60 hours later. This is notwithstanding the state DGP’s assurance to Dhiraj’s relatives of immediate arrest of the MLC.
Last week another barbaric incident took place in Simri Bakhtiyarpur block of Saharsa district when the block Janata Dal (United) chief, Chandramani Prasad Singh, was accused of driving nail into feet of a 13 year old boy, Rahul Yadav, on the charge of stealing a fan.
It was not only for violence that this region has been in the news. Recently an extremely poor woman sold one of her twin sons for just Rs 62 to a Nepalese couple as she had no money to treat her ailing husband and feed other kids.
Critics blame the state government machinery for this incident, which they say was the result of the failure of the welfare schemes for the poor in the state.