It is not just the criminals, but their patrons too who are on the hit list of the Bihar Police. Starting with Nalanda, the native district of the chief minister, the police have planned a crackdown on all the habitual offenders, many of whom have changed colours over the years and become 'white-collared masterminds'.
This is part of the new strategy of the police, called 'preventive policing.' Under it, the police will initiate action against the criminals and their patrons under section 110 of the CrPC. This apart, steps have been taken to act tough against those engaged in brewing and selling illicit liquor.
Nalanda Superintendent of Police Amit Kumar said, "We have so far identified 35 big offenders in the district against whom there had been complaints of extortion, gambling, land grabbing etc in the past. But, now they have become safedposh and are calling the shots from behind the scene."
The process to nail the rangdars (offenders) started in January. In the three sub-divisions -- Hilsa, Rajgir and Biharsharif --- open courts are being held by the sub-divisional magistrates every fortnight.
The wanted persons are being asked to furnish a bond with two sureties, taking a pledge not to commit any punishable offence. If the person, who had already furnished the bond, is found committing crime, the sureties are not only liable to punitive action but would also forfeit the money.
"This will work as a deterrent to many of them, who are masterminding serious offences," the SP added.
The Nalanda police have also launched a massive drive against brewing and selling of illicit liquor. "Since January this year, 55 FIRs have been lodged and 100 persons booked for brewing and selling illicit liquor," Kumar said and added that 2,500 litre liquor had been seized by the police during the period.
The SP said there have been reports of liquor vend cropping up like mushroom in rural areas, which is eating into the younger generation from within. "We hope the drive will yield tangible results in days to come," he said.
For Kumar, while 2006 was the year of taking punitive action against criminals, 2007 is the year of preventive policing. Nalanda is among the districts that recorded the maximum convictions during 2006.