Policemen deployed for the security of chief minister Nitish Kumar demonstrated silently on Monday at his official residence during janata durbar demanding wage revision.
There were no placards. Nor did the security guards give slogans. They just sported black ribbons on their arms to register their protest.
The durbar continued as usual. All the 475 security guards from the Special Branch, Bihar Police and Bihar Military Police posted at 1 Aney Marg, Nitish’s residence, performed their duty honestly. But the dissent was writ large on their faces. It was visible right at the entrance of the chief minister’s bungalow.
Requesting not to disclose his identity, a jawan of Bihar Police deputed at the entrance, said: “We have certain demands. We are wearing black ribbons on our arms to register our protest. I am not the only one, you will find all the security guards doing the same.”
He was spot on. All the guards inside were doing their duty sporting black ribbons.
Senior officers and ministers were taken aback by the sight.
A principal secretary-rank officer said: “It is something unusual in the chief minister’s house. It has never happened before. The move of chief minister’s personal security guards to sport black ribbons is a matter of concern.”
Visitors were amazed too.
“Do you have any idea why the guards are wearing black ribbons on their arms? Are they unhappy with something or someone has died over here? Why has the chief minister allowed them to exhibit such a thing at the janata durbar?” asked Manish Yadav, a complainant from Madhubani district.
The chief minister was not much bothered, though.
Nitish said: “I do not think there is any need to give much attention to it (demonstration). We have done several good things for them in the past. We will do so in future as well but not now.”
The guards were on a different plane. They thought their demands should be fulfilled right away.
“We have 15 small demands. We have been asking them for the past one year. We are the ones who protect the chief minister and follow him like a shadow. Without our support he cannot walk a step. Yet, he is not fulfilling our demands. We are not asking anything much. Our demands are genuine,” said a Special Branch officer.
As many as 475 security guards, including 175 personnel of Special Branch, 200 jawans of Bihar Military Police and 100 of Bihar Police.