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Bihari pride storm over DGP letter

Patna, Jan. 7: A letter from director-general of police Abhayanand to his counterpart in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has sparked a political row with the BJP using it to hit out at Nitish Kumar’s much-flaunted mantra of Bihari pride.

In the missive dated November 19, 2013, to CRPF DG Dilip Trivedi, Abhayanand has suggested that all officers of the paramilitary outfit hailing from Bihar should be relocated outside the state.

The suggestion was made in the context of the revelation that an assistant commandant with the 159 Battalion of the CRPF, Sanjay Yadav, had leaked out crucial information to Naxalites on the location and operations of the paramilitary forces and police in Gaya district in October last year.

Sanjay had leaked information to one Pradeep Yadav, a resident of Imamganj who is said to be a key source of information and materials for Naxalites.

The special task force of the Bihar police intercepted talks held between Sanjay and Pradeep in which the locations of central and CoBRA forces were discussed.

After the revelation, anti-Naxalite operations were severely hit. The Magadh area, particularly its forest zones, has several CRPF camps. “During 2013, there was no engagement of forces with the Naxalites. Leak of operation may be the reason behind it,” the letter says.

Abhayanand then goes on to offer two suggestions, one of them being relocation of the 159 Battalion outside the state.

But it is the other suggestion proffered by Abhayanand that has stirred up a row. The DGP has said all CRPF officers with roots in Bihar should be withdrawn from the state.

“It is requested that CRPF officers belonging to Bihar should not be posted in the state for anti-Naxal operations,” says the letter, a copy of which was sent to the Union home ministry — the reporting authority of the CRPF — and the PMO.

BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi today used the letter to hit out at Nitish, accusing him of “insulting Bihari pride”. “The chief minister is always talking about Bihari pride, yet he has victimised all Biharis for the fault of one Bihari officer. Nitish must apologise to Biharis and send a letter to the Centre withdrawing the request of not posting Bihari officers in the CRPF in their home state,” Modi said.

Sushil Modi touched a raw nerve of the government by pointing out that most security officials responsible for the security of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi were Biharis.

Abhayanand refused to comment on the letter. “I do not discuss my official correspondence with the media,” he said.

Officials in the police headquarters defended their boss. “As DGP, whether a person is Bihari, Gujarati or Punjabi does not matter. What matters is making anti-Naxalite operations more effective,” said an IPS officer.

Nitish had started celebrating Bihar Divas to promote Bihari sub-nationalism over caste considerations. By throwing a punch at Nitish, the BJP wants to get back at the chief minister, who in his public meetings has stressed that “only local” leaders could feel for Bihar and work for its development — a dig at Narendra Modi.


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