| A visitor submits to stringent security check at the chief minister’s janata durbar on Monday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Security personnel on duty at Nitish Kumar’s janata durbar on Monday were on their toes to prevent a rerun of the incident last month when a girl had slashed her palm with a blade before the chief minister.
Everyone visiting 1 Aney Marg had to pass through four checkpoints, where they were made to walk through metal detector doors and were scanned with hand-held detectors. They also had to remove their shoes and socks, turn out their pockets, unfold their collars and take out their wallets and belts.
This was the first time that visitors to the janata durbar were put through such stringent checks. Earlier, there were only two security checkpoints and visitors were not required to remove their shoes.
After going through the first two rounds, many visitors had thought that they would be able to meet the chief minister. But a security guard kept calling them back for more. “Where do you think you are going? The check is not over yet,” he said.
Some of the visitors protested. One of them, Nawada resident Ram Prasad Yadav, demurred. “What are you doing? Such checks are not even carried when one visits the Prime Minister’s Office,” he said.
A security guard replied: “Do not argue. Just do what we are telling you. There are other people waiting for their turn.”
Yadav finally lost it when he was asked to roll up his trousers. “Do you want me to get naked?” he said.
The security guard was unperturbed. “Do you want to meet the CM or not?” he said. “If you do, then do as we are telling you.”
After finally getting through the entire process, Yadav told The Telegraph: “Half my energy has been spent in this tedious security process. It is just a waste of time, nothing more than that.”
A senior officer at the durbar, who did not want to be named, said: “The incident of the girl entering the durbar with a blade and cutting her hand forced us to rethink about the security. The order has come from the top and we cannot help in any way.”
On January 7, Sarojani Kumari, a BA third-year student of NS College, Barh, had tried to commit suicide by cutting her hand with a blade. A security guard was also injured while trying to restrain the youth. At that time, Nitish had raised concerns about breach of security.