A day after taking charge, Bihar’s new DGP Rajwinder Singh Bhatti met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday, amid the recent spike in crime and hooch deaths in the state.
Sources have said that he met Nitish Kumar in a closed-door meeting as well in presence of the Chief Minister’s trusted bureaucrats.
The Nitish Kumar government is facing criticism over the state’s law and order situation, following a rise in murders, rapes, loots of jewellery shops, illegal manufacturing, smuggling and sale of liquor, in the last few months.
Bhatti is known for breaking the back of organised crime in Bihar in the past when kidnapping was an industry and Bahubali leaders were flourishing.
He was involved in the arrest of Bahubali leaders Mohammad Shahabuddin, Prabhunath Singh and Dilip Singh, the brother of Anant Singh in the past, having served as SP, City, in Patna, the SP of Siwan, of Bokaro (Now in Jharkhand) and many other districts.
Now, kidnapping for ransom is no longer an industry in Bihar, but daylight robberies in jewellery shops, banks, and gold finance companies, as well as rapes, and murders are frequently taking place.
These are the challenges Bhatti will face apart from making strategies to prevent and eliminate the big fish involved in manufacturing, smuggling, and transportation of liquor in the state.
The Nitish Kumar government has already announced that the state police should not penalise poor people, and go for the actual operators who are illegally running the illegal liquor nexus in Bihar.
The selection of Bhatti, a 1990 Bihar cadre IPS officer, as the DGP is due to his track record and his unique style of cracking the cases. He was given the priority over three IPS officers, K. Manmohan Singh (1988 batch), Alok Raj, and Sobha Ahotkar (both 1989) who are senior than him.
After the appointment of Bhatti, who will hold office till September 30, 2025, no major robbery or murder had taken place in the state.
Sources have said that Nitish Kumar gave him complete authority to control the crime and bring fast results and people would see his action in the next few days. There is a buzz in political circle about what moves Bhatti will take in the next few days. The Special Task Force (STF) and Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) are almost inactive these days and should get a revamp.
As to why Bhatti was called, the key factor is the 2024 Lok Sabha and 2025 Vidhan Sabha elections. Nitish Kumar has in mind an impressive show in these two elections to challenge the BJP and he will not achieve the target without making Bihar as a crime free state. After the formation of Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar, the BJP raised the issue of ‘Jungle Raj’ returning to Bihar, and incidents like the Saran hooch tragedy helped the claim. Nitish Kumar wants to achieve the tag of ‘Sushashan Babu’ through controlling crime.