The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 20 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Liquor lesson makes cops in House extra cautious

- Frisk-all diktat comes as a bolt from the blue for legislators; MLAs vent anger over tight security

Stringent security welcomed legislators to the Assembly on Tuesday, a day after an MLA entered its campus with liquor bottles to stage a protest.

The security at the entrance gate of the Bihar Legislature building was so tight that it infuriated some legislators, who vehemently opposed the move. The cops were brought in for strict vigilance after RJD Jagdishpur MLA Dinesh Kumar Singh entered the Assembly premises with liquor bottles on Monday.

There was heavy deployment of personnel and several cars had to wait in the queue for long between the first and the second gate of the Legislature building for security clearance.

A senior police officer was heard shouting at his juniors: “Ek bhi gaadi beena checking ke andar nahi jani chahiyye. Dikki bhi check karo thik se (Not a single car should go in the Assembly premises without proper checking. Even check the boot of the cars.”

Compared to Monday, a sharp contrast in the security system could be seen near the Assembly on Tuesday. Every car was being checked minutely with under-vehicle search mirrors and metal detectors. The personnel even opened the bags of the legislators kept inside the car.

Many lawmakers lost their temper as the personnel went on the checking spree.

When the SUV of RJD MLA Durga Prasad reached the second gate of the Assembly, the personnel asked him to open the door of the vehicle.

The Ujiarpur MLA from Samastipur reacted sharply and said: “No, I will not allow you to check my car. I am not a criminal. How dare you to check my car? This is not how you behave with legislators. You better let my car go inside. Otherwise, I am not going inside the Assembly.”

The MLA got out of his SUV, which is unusual for a legislator.

Soon after he got down, a policeman said: “Sir, allow us to do our duty. You won’t have any problem.”

Durga Prasad was not in a mood to budge. He kept standing near the gate. Finally, a cop called up chief marshal B.P. Sinha and informed about the MLA’s “stubbornness”.

The heated argument ended only after the chief marshal requested the MLA to leave the car near the gate and enter the Assembly in the officer’s SUV.

The personnel also confiscated two bamboo sticks from the SUV of Lakhisaria BJP MLA Vijay Kumar Sinha at the entrance gate.

Vikram Kunwar, the BJP MLA from Raghunathpur in Siwan, also got a bitter taste of the tightened security. After he was stopped near the second gate, he immediately got out of his vehicle and started shouting at the personnel.

“What do you think of yourself? We are leaders from the ruling party and it doesn’t look nice if we are frisked. Are we terrorists? Am I carrying some explosive? In the name of security checking you people are troubling us. It’s horrible,” said Kunwar.

On regular days, the employees of the Legislative Assembly and the Council do not need to go through such intensive checking.

However, after Monday’s liquor episode, even they had to bear the vigil brunt. Earlier, the employees were allowed inside the premises after they showed their identity cards. However, on Tuesday, their vehicles and belongings were frisked too.

On what prompted the tight security, Patna district magistrate N. Saravana Kumar said: “We don’t want a repetition of Monday’s incident. A few legislators have registered their complaints on the frisking but we have sorted out the problem. As far as the security checking is concerned there are a few things which we cannot share with you.”

Asked about taking any action against RJD Jagdishpur MLA Dinesh Kumar Singh for carrying liquor bottles inside the Assembly premises, the DM said: “We are looking into the matter.”

The MLA reached the Assembly on Tuesday early at 9.30am, whereas the proceedings start at 11am.