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Stations to tame river crime

Patna, Aug. 4: The free run of dons in the riverine belt of the Gandak, Kosi and the Ganga is set to end with the state government clearing the proposal to set up three river patrolling police stations (RPPS).

Sources said the three additional RPPS would be opened at Supaul, Naugachhia in Bhagalpur and Bagaha in West Champaran. The areas under their jurisdiction have been identified and the required posts have been sanctioned. “The process will be set in motion soon after the funds are released,” a senior officer posted at the police headquarters said.

The officer said on the condition of anonymity that the proposal was submitted much earlier but it got the seal of the cabinet chaired by chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi only a fortnight ago. “The superintendents of police of the districts concerned have been apprised of the government’s sanction for setting up the RPPS,” he said, adding that such an initiative would help the district police in containing crime in the diara belt in a better way.

About a dozen districts, including Khagaria, Begusarai, Vaishali, Bhagalpur, Supaul and Saharsa, would benefit from the new initiative of the government. Earlier, 18 places in those districts were identified as vulnerable to serious crimes.

“Patrolling in riverine belt has always been a big challenge for the police personnel. The RPPS will certainly make the task easier for them,” the officer said.

“All the river police stations will be equipped with mechanised motorboats and the personnel would be imparted specialised training to deal with gangsters active in the region,” the officer said.

Supaul superintendent of police Sudhir Kumar Porika said he had already assigned his subordinates to prepare the list of active criminals in the diara belt of the district. “No professional gang is involved in serious offences like kidnapping for ransom or contract killing in the district. Supaul was earlier considered to be vulnerable to such crimes as the Kosi touches Saharsa and Khagaria districts, which harboured such gangs,” he added.

Gangs mainly use the riverine belts to keep captives (kidnapped persons) because they are inaccessible. The state’s first ever river patrolling police station on the banks of the Ganga was established at Mauzipur village near Fatuha in the Patna rural area.

Former chief minister Nitish Kumar had inaugurated the state-of-the-art police station on May 20, 2011 with an aim to keep a close watch on unlawful activities of criminals and professional gangs involved in organised crime. Ironically, even after three years, the RPPS at Mauzipur village has not registered any case. Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj attributed it to non-demarcation of its jurisdiction.

Maharaaj said: “Instructions have been issued to make optimal use of the state’s first ever RPPS. At present, the personnel posted at the RPPS assist the officials of Fatuha and Deedarganj police stations in carrying out investigation. We shall ensure that cases are instituted at the RPSS itself and investigations are done by the police officials deputed there.”ť

The first RPPS was built by the Bihar State Police Building Construction Corporation at a cost of Rs 56 lakh.


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