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Aditya Sachdeva murder: Nitish Kumar faces flak for rising crime

Abhishek Parashar | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:49 IST
The murder
  • 20 year old Aditya Sachdeva was allegedly gunned down by Rocky Yadav, a JD(U) leader\'s son in Bodh Gaya
  • Apparently his only fault was not letting Yadav\'s SUV overtake his car
  • CM Nitish Kumar is facing criticism for rising crime in Bihar
More in the story
  • What action has the police taken?
  • What Nitish\'s critics have to say
  • Is crime hampering business in Bihar?

Bihar's rising crime graph has tarnished the track record of the Nitish Kumar-led government ever since it came to power 6 months ago.

Every time Chief Minister Nitish Kumar tries to showcase his achievements like liquor prohibition, a high-profile incident of crime surfaces to overshadow his claims of good governance.

The road rage murder of a 20-year-old youth Aditya Sachdeva in Gaya is proving to be the latest embarrassment for the state government. Aditya was allegedly gunned down by local JD(U) leader Manorama Devi's son Rocky Yadav. Apparently, his only fault was that he did not let Rocky's Land Rover SUV overtake his Swift car.

Also read - Bihar Road Rage: Nobody will be spared, says CM Nitish Kumar

The local police was forced into action by mounting public outrage. An FIR was belatedly registered and Rocky's father Bindeshwari Yadav along with Manorama Devi's bodyguard were arrested. Both have been charged with abetting the Rocky's escape and tampering with evidence.

Eventually, Rocky was also nabbed from near Bodh Gaya on Tuesday morning. He was supposedly hiding in a factory owned by Bindeshwari Yadav. A licensed pistol was also reportedly found in his possession. According to police sources, Rocky has already confessed his involvement in the crime. However, there were reports on Tuesday evening that he has denied even being present in Bihar when the crime took place. He will soon be produced in the court.

Rocky's father Bindeshwari Yadav, commonly known as Bindi Yadav, is a notorious history-sheeter with dozens of cases, including one of treason, pending against him.

"We have filed a chargesheet against Bindi Yadav in a treason case. But there has been no progress because of his high contacts in the government," reveals one local police officer on the condition of anonymity.

Rocky's mother is Manorama Devi, an MLC, and father is Bindi Yadav, a known history-sheeter

Several doubts persist over the role of the police in this case as well.

"The police was working under political pressure from the beginning. Rocky could have been arrested immediately. But this did not happen. The police knew his whereabouts. The manner of his arrest from Bindi Yadav's factory indicates that police officials were waiting for instructions from above," alleges a local journalist.

Gaya SSP Garima Malik refutes these allegations. Nevertheless, she could not clearly answer the questions posed by the Catch on the delay in the registering the FIR.

Aditya's father Shyam Sundar has no trust in the police action or assurances made by the government.

"Rocky will soon be roaming free. He will not face any hardship, even behind bars," he suspects.

There are many others who share Shyam Sundar's sentiments.

"The state government promises strict action after every major crime. Yet there is no respite from such incidents," complains Alok Jaiswal, a businessman engaged in pharmaceutical trade. He was a part of the protest march organised in Patna to demand justice for Aditya's family.

Recent spurt in high profile crimes

Bihar has recently witnessed a spurt in crime cases involving politicians belonging to the ruling alliance or their family members. The rape case against RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav and filing of a chargesheet against the Gaya MLA Kunti Devi in a murder case are only some of the examples of this worrying trend.

"The administrative machinery has totally crumbled under the current dispensation. The government lacks the political will to eradicate crime from the state," alleges AAP leader Parveen Amanullah.

"Chief Minster Nitish Kumar has failed to keep his promise of clean governance. The spirits of criminals are running high in the state. They no longer fear the law or the establishment," she further adds.

The aggrieved Sachdeva family says they are left with only two options under the current circumstances; either to take up arms against criminals or wrap up their business and return to their ancestral place in Punjab.

Senior state BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi views this statement as a "slap in the face of the government claiming to give good governance".

"Nitish Kumar is busy patting himself on the back for liquor prohibition. On the other hand, common people are being forced to take up weapons in self-defence. Is this the good governance?" he asked.

The impact

Bihar is currently the fastest growing state in India with a record Gross Domestic State Product (GSDP) of more than $ 66.4 billion during the year 2014-15. It direly needs investment in the infrastructure sector, perhaps more than any other state. The talk of businessmen moving out of the state is clearly a jolt to Bihar's brand image.

The killings of engineers involved in various construction projects in the past few months had already cast a shadow on the investment climate in the state.

However, not all businessmen have lost hope. "The government has failed in maintaining law and order. But we still have faith in Nitish Kumar," says Bihar Industries Association (BIA) President Ramlal Khetan.

Khetan points out that in most such cases in the past, the culprits were put behind bars. However, he agrees that "Bihar has hogged the limelight mostly for the wrong reasons since the Grand Alliance came to power".

The people of Bihar had shown enormous faith in Nitish Kumar during the state elections. This reflected in the scale of the victory of the Grand Alliance. Though Lalu also played his part in the victory, but it was mainly the clean image of Nitish Kumar that enticed the voters.

Nitish, on his part, had a track record to match his promises. In November 2005, he had fast-tracked high profile criminal cases that had been pending for years. As a result, a large number of anti-social elements were punished. Some of them still languish in jails.

The politics

It seems all is not well within the Grand Alliance. Deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav of the RJD recently released a poster highlighting the achievements of his government. The absence of the Chief Minister's photograph from the poster was not lost on anyone.

Some say the performance of the government is also apparently suffering due to the national ambitions of Nitish Kumar.

His grand plans to unite non-BJP parties before the next general elections has earned him the wrath of the opposition in the state. Offering him advice to concentrate on Bihar, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan stated, "the state is witnessing murders one after another and Nitish Kumar is flying high in the air".

The issue of law-and-order has always resonated among the electorate in Bihar. Needless to say, the government's failure to curb the emboldened criminals could cost it dearly.

As a Gaya police officer puts it, " The killing of Aditya Sachdeva is not an ordinary crime. Common criminals strike for financial gains or revenge. But Aditya was killed merely for not letting another vehicle overtake. The perpetrators knew the police would not be able to lay its hands upon them. We saw how there were attempts to hush up the matter."

More in Catch - Nitish's Bihar: give way or die

BJP calls for shutdown in Gaya over teen's alleged murder by JD(U) MLA's son

First published: 10 May 2016, 9:46 IST
Abhishek Parashar @abhishekiimc

Chief Sub-editor at Catch Hindi. He has been associated with Press Trust of India, Business Standard and The Economic Times.