Six live cartridges found on a JD(U) worker triggered panic at the weekly janata darbar of chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday, again bringing to the fore the fascination for arms among the state’s political class.
A middle-aged man, identified as Jitesh Kumar Singh of Siwan, was caught with six cartridges of .32 bore each when he was allegedly entering the darbar at 1 Aney Marg.
Singh claimed he had come with a petition to meet Nitish and had carried the bullets in his trouser’s pocket by “mistake”. “It happened by mistake. I was going to meet the CM with a petition. I am an active JD(U) member,” Singh said.
Singh, as the police claimed, was caught around 10.45am, when the janata darbar had just started. Nitish’s darbar usually starts at 10am. Monday’s darbar was, however, was delayed by 45 minutes.
The police have detained Singh and kept the Sachivalaya police station for interrogation. The Siwan resident had come in a white SUV (BR29K4500) bearing a board that stated Singh as former deputy chairman, district board, Siwan.
The police said Singh could not enter the darbar with the bullets because he was caught outside the gate by security men and bomb squad personnel. Singh’s revolver was later found in his car.
“Jitesh Kumar Singh never entered the darbar because he was caught during frisking. He was taken to the Sachivalaya police station. Singh claimed his weapon has a licence and he showed the documents. However, he showed a photocopy of the licence and we need to verify it. Prima facie, he had a licence and it is valid till December 2012,” Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amrit Raj told The Telegraph.
Monday’s janata darbar had nothing to do with the police and the home department. The incident, however, created such a flutter that director-general of police Abhayanand and other senior police officers reached the venue soon after they were informed about the incident.
The DGP even visited the Sachivalaya police station to inquire about the progress of investigation. Later, city superintendent of police Kim visited the police station and had a word with Singh.
Kim narrated newspersons what Singh had told the cops.
“Singh told the police that he had come to the darbar in the morning. He got inside after he was frisked. At that time, he was in a casual shirt and pyjamas. He said he was the owner of Siwan-based Popular Nursing Home. He had a petition regarding the nursing home’s registration, which was pending for a while. After sitting in the darbar for sometime, he suddenly remembered that he had forgotten some documents in his car,” Kim said.
She added: “Singh got out of the exit gate and collected the documents from the car. He then realised that the pyjama he was wearing was dirty and it was not appropriate to wear it in front of the chief minister. He then went back to his car and wore a black trouser. According to him, he forgot that the bullets of his revolver were in a secret pocket of the trouser. He returned to the entry gate and was caught during the frisking. His version will be verified. At present, he has been detained.”
SSP Amrit Raj said initial investigation has revealed that the man has three arms licences.
“He has three arms licences. We will do a complete record check,” the SSP said.
During the weekly meet, all visitors are checked twice before entering the darbar premises.
First, the Bihar Military Police personnel manually check the visitors before entering the gate. Then, another round of manual checking by special branch officers and bomb squad team follows. Except the application, the petitioners are not allowed to carry any object like keys, tobacco, mobile phones and wallets.
If anybody is found carrying these objects they have to surrender it to the security personnels. After manual checking, every visitor has to go through the metal detector machine and only then they can enter the darbar premises.
Around 400 complaints visited the darbar on Monday.