In yet another incident hinting at the return of jungle raj in Bihar, extortionists have directed a retired school principal to pay Rs 15 lakh to prevent the abduction and murder of his son, a doctor in Karnataka.
"I received a call from a person called Chunnu Thakur and he said that he was calling from jail. He called me twice. He demanded Rs 15 lakh extortion money against an alleged land registry. He threatened to abduct my doctor son and kill him if I failed to pay the money within 10 days," said Darbhanga resident Shyama Sheesh Mishra.
After the extortion call, Mishra's family now fears for their son Avinash's safety. Dr Avinash works as an associate professor at Jawahar Lal Medical College in Belgaum, Karnataka. This is Bihar's fourth case of extortion in just the last one week. Similar demands have been made to Dr Hemant Verma (asked to pay Rs 1 crore), jeweller Madan Mohan Prasad (Rs 5 lakhs) and a senior medical officer in Araria district (Rs 2 lakhs).
Chunnu Thakur, currently lodged in Bhagalpur jail, is known as the terror of North Bihar. Several cases of kidnapping, extortion and murders are registered against him. In 2014, just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Thakur was inducted into JD(U) and later expelled within a fortnight, after chief minister Nitish Kumar faced sharp criticism for inducting criminals.
Police registered an FIR in the case after dilly-dallying for two days. Prima facie, the case appeared to be true, cops said. "We have registered an FIR in the case and are investigating the matter. We are also getting the call details to trace the extortion call," said Additional SP, Dilnawaz Khan.
Meanwhile, the ruling party and the opposition continue putting off the blame of Bihar's ever-increasing crime graph. Lok Janshakti Party minister Chirag Paswan slammed Nitish Kumar for running a coalition government with RJD chief Lalu Prasad. Calling him a patron of criminals, Paswan said it was impossible for Nitish to run a "sushasan" government with Prasad.
"There is complete anarchy in the state at the moment. Apart from imposing President's rule in the state, I demand that Nitish Kumar should resign. It's impossible for Nitish to run a government with Lalu who has always protected criminals," he said. The ruling JD(U), however, put the blame of the rising crime on BJP.
"The incidents in the state are BJP-sponsored. It's very clear that BJP leaders visit the place where crime has taken place, showing that they are behind the incidents. They are doing so to tarnish the Nitish government," said JD(U) MLC Sanjay Singh.