Baby, the Labrador, sniffs for trouble on the CBI court premises in Ranchi. (Prashant Mitra)
One smart canine and five men in black, toting Uzi submachine guns, provided extra cover as two tainted ex-CMs and their battery of corrupt aides faced Judgment Day in Ranchi.
Baby, the police Labrador, and NSG commandos better known as Black Cats because of their dark drill coveralls and balaclavas or caps added might to the solid phalanx of security personnel outside the special CBI court near Albert Ekka Chowk, which delivered the much-awaited verdict in a multi-crore fodder scam case on Monday.
Former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra fraudulently withdrew more than Rs 37 crore from the Chaibasa treasury on the pretext of buying fodder for livestock, but quite ironically, when it came to guarding this high-profile duo, the onus fell on an animal.
Her agile muscles strained beneath her ebony black coat, seven-year-old Baby who trained at the BSF centre in Tekkanpur, UP embarked on her very demanding job from 8am sharp. She sniffed every inch of the court premises, from the chambers of special CBI judge P.K. Singh and agency investigators to bathrooms.
Jharkhand police constable and Babys partner Vijay Birendra Minz said a bitch was never so much of a pride to the force. Baby won laurels at the All India Police Duty Meet in Bhopal last year. Security for Lalu and the others would not have been complete without her. She is so bold and beautiful, Minz smiled.
As the cop on four legs made dogged efforts to sanitise the special court, an amused civil court lawyer Mohammed Afroz could not help but say that man could learn a thing or two about loyalty from canines.
Sachmuch janwar admi se zyada wafadar hota hai. Jo uska chara khaya usi ki raksha kar raha hai (Animals are more faithful than human beings. This dog is offering security to those who pulled off a fodder scam), he said.
Besides Baby, the bunch Black Cat commandos armed with 9mm pistols and sophisticated weapons like the submachine gun ensured that security for Lalu and 44 others were foolproof.
The five NSG personnel wanted to accompany the RJD leader inside the courtroom, but were dissuaded from doing so by DSP (city) P.N. Singh. They waited outside till Lalu and Co. was sent to Birsa Munda Central Jail.
More than 200 security personnel from Jharkhand Jaguar, Jharkhand Armed Police, State Industrial Security Force, Rapid Armed Police and district police also braved the morning rain to form a human chain on court premises to keep supporters at bay. Vigil was stepped up and every vehicle checked, including that of the special judge.
City SP Manoj Ratan and SDO Amit Kumar briefed more than 100 security personnel who guarded the stretch from Jaipal Singh Stadium to Kutchery More, leading to the court. Later, SSP Saket Kumar Singh and deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey inspected the arrangements.
We left no stone unturned as far as security was concerned, DSP Singh summed up.
Do tainted politicians deserve such special security?