Nitish Kumar loses cool over inquiries on crime
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday lost his temper and entered into a spat with mediapersons after they asked questions about the rise in crimes in the state.
He also questioned the political affiliations of the reporters instead of replying to their queries, accused them of asking wrong and inappropriate questions, and trying to demoralise the police force.
“Your questions are wrong and completely inappropriate. You are a great person! How can I even talk to you? Whose supporter are you? I am asking you directly. Why don’t you highlight the crimes that happened during the 15-year reign of husband and wife (read RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi and their rule between 1990 and 2005),” an enraged Nitish screamed at the top of his voice after being questioned by a senior journalist from a news channel (NDTV).
Nitish went on to insinuate that the journalist was friendly with the Opposition leaders, who were behind the increasing incidents of crime.
“You should also pay attention to your special counsellor and provide him some training. Also, find out who commits the crime and the identity of such people,” Nitish yelled, before the hangers-on started shouting slogans in his favour.
Nitish was speaking at a function to inaugurate the first phase of an expressway built at a cost of Rs 380 crore in Patna connecting with north Bihar, when mediapersons hurled questions pertaining to the murder of IndiGo airlines station manager Rupesh Kumar Singh and gang rapes, towards the fag end of his address. They also sought to know the reasons behind the police’s inability to control crime.
Rupesh was shot dead in the basement of his apartment on Tuesday evening and the police are yet to ascertain the motive behind the crime and the perpetrators. Nobody has been arrested in connection with the incident so far.
Bihar is witnessing a spate of serious crimes like murder, rape, kidnapping, loot and extortion on a daily basis due to which the people are constantly worried and afraid. Incidentally, Nitish holds the home portfolio, under which the police department falls.
“Do not forget how much action is being taken against crime. Anybody’s murder is unfortunate. The criminals do not commit crime after taking permission from anybody. Do not demoralise the police force like this. They are working. Bihar is at the 23rd position in crime among the states in the country,” Nitish said, while asking Bihar to be compared with other states. The chief minister also asked mediapersons to “share clues with the police if they have and don’t demoralise the police force”.
However, he was told that even director-general of police S.K. Singhal does not take calls of the journalists. Nitish then talked to him and directed him to publicise his contact numbers and respond to calls by the mediapersons.
Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said Nitish’s outburst on being grilled over the deteriorating law and order situation was “unfortunate” and asserted that the chief minister has “put his hands up and surrendered before criminals”.
“Nitish Kumar says nobody can check crime and it used to happen even during the Harappan period. Just compare. He asks mediapersons whether they know the criminals and why they commit crimes,” Tejashwi said.
Even ally BJP has been questioning the deteriorating law and order situation. BJP state unit president Sanjay Jaiswal, Rajya Sabha member Gopal Narayan Singh, several legislators and leaders have expressed concern over the increasing incidents of crime.
Many leaders of Nitish’s Janata Dal United and the BJP are of the opinion that the rot of corruption has compromised the entire police force and its rank and file was busy making money.