You know something’s wrong when the city’s top cop admits residents are doing police’s job and catching criminals.
Patna is bleeding and so are the police. Over the past couple of months and the last few days, criminals have been hitting the streets. The cops are left with empty hands and some oft-repeated lines — insider job, no breakthrough or a dead end.
A 35-year-old man was shot dead on Tuesday afternoon at Shahpur village, around 10km from Patna. (See page 9)
Senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj said he was not happy with the police presence in Patna.
He said: “I am not satisfied with the police presence. It is sheer negligence. In two incidents, criminals hurled bombs at their targets in the heart of the city. This gives a very wrong impression to the people. They would think criminals are ruling the roost. This isn’t acceptable.”
He added: “Monday’s loot at Kadamkuan was carried out by the Ravi Gope gang. Its modus operandi includes exploding bombs to terrorise the people. The five criminals had come from Pandarak on the outskirts of Patna. The residents caught three of the men — they did the police’s job.”
Following the attack, showcause notices have been served on the Kadamkuan police station house officer (SHO) and the additional superintendent of police (town). Maharaaj said the SHO could face suspension.
Sources said seniors at the police headquarters were also worried. “The station house officers are not up to the mark. They cannot be removed frequently, as getting a good replacement is also difficult. The quick mobile teams with 250 men are not patrolling properly. Most of the deputy superintendents of police and additional superintendents of police are also not performing,” another officer said.
Officers expected to know about the cases are not much help when asked of the status. Most of the times they say they are working on leads, that an insider job is possible.
Residents fumed at the deteriorating law and order situation and the politicians attacked the ruling establishment.
Subhash Kumar, a lawyer living in Saidpur, said: “How can it be that armed men openly explode bombs and open fire on a busy street in the daylight. The people have no sense of security and the police are to blame for that.”
Ram Chandra Purbey, the state unit head of RJD, said: “The law and order in the state has turned worse. Former chief minister Nitish Kumar, who is still running the state, is trying to save his government instead of controlling the situation.”