| (From left) Anil Kumar Mishra, Ajay Kumar and Ram Naresh Singh at the news meet in Patna on Thursday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
The sword seems to be mightier than the pen.
Ajay Singh, who has some 25 cases of murder, kidnapping and extortion in Siwan, has taken up the responsibility of protecting — if not writing — the Hindi literature. On September 17, he took over the president’s post at Bihar Hindi Sahitya Sammelan much to the chagrin of earlier elected chief Anil Sulabh and several literary practitioners.
Bihar Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, set up to promote the Hindi language, was once headed by persons like India’s first President Rajendra Prasad. Constituted in 1919 and considered a pioneer organisation for promotion of the Hindi language and literature, the institution has become hot spot of politics.
Ajay, the son of the late JD(U) MLA Jagmato Devi, has claimed that he would bring back the “lost glory” of the Sammelan, which he had visited with armed guards soon after the September election. “The Sammelan belongs to litterateurs and I will make sure it does not go in the hands of any other person. Some people are trying to malign the name of Sammelan but I will never allow them to do so,” Ajay said on Thursday.
Sulabh claimed that he was still the Sammelan head and the poll held to elect Ajay was unconstitutional. “He just wants to grab the Sammelan building and whatever is going on at present is unfair. I am still the president of Bihar Hindi Sahitya Sammelan and he has forcefully occupied the post,” said Sulabh, a Congress leader, who claimed to be involved in social work.
Ajay, a postgraduate student in political science of JP University, too claimed himself as a social worker. “I am a social worker and not fighting for any post,” said Ajay, whose wife Kavita Singh is a JD(U) MLA from Daraunda. She accompanied Ajay during his visit to the Sammalen building at Kadamkuan. However, police have imposed Section 144 of the IPC at Sammelan building at present.
Ajay gained notoriety after the murder of Shahbuddin’s sharp shooter Riyazuddin and his accomplice in Siwan in 2004. Riyazuddin was killed when they had gone to eliminate Ajay at his residence at Nandmora village in Siwan. Earlier, he had killed Babloo Yadav, an RJD worker. Ajay was also in the limelight as he tied the knot during pitripaksh apparently to win a ticket for his bride.
When he first visited the Sammelan office spread over an acre, Ajay removed Sulabh’s nameplate and also broke the lock. Next day, Sulabh went to Sammelan and removed his nameplate and put another lock on it. But ever since the tussle has started between Ajay and Sulabh, most of the littérateurs have stopped visiting the building. “The littérateurs have stopped visiting the building because of fear. It was a place where eminent people like Ramdhari Singh Dinkar and Shiv Pujan Sahay used to visit,” said Ashok Kumar Shrivastava, the Sammalen spokesperson.
Preferring anonymity, an eminent writer said: “The Sammelan has lost its charm in the internal rivalry and it is no more a place of literature. It has become the den of criminal elements.”