The 120-Km riverine belt from Maner to Mokama along the Ganga has become a battlefield for sundry ganglords in the area.
Armed with sophisticated firearms, they are all fighting for a prize — a 500-acre tract that has come into existence as the Ganga changed its course over the years. And conveniently for them, no portion of this vast land is adequately demarcated in government records.
Besides other crops, the fertile tract yields opium, a handy commodity that allows gangs to make quick money. The race among the gang-lords to assert suzerainty on the land is understandable. This fertile land also yields wheat and paddy.
The police have reported many clashes among the gangsters in the recent past. The latest casualty in
this warfare was farmer Chandeshwar Rai, who was abducted while farming on the land on April 3. Rai’s relatives lodged a complaint with the Buddha Colony police station. His body was recovered from the riverbank near the Mahatma Gandhi Setu on April 15.
Before Rai’s kidnapping and murder, two groups opened fire on each other at the 31-Jaljeera village in Maner.
While Manohar Rai, a local chieftain, is said to hold sway at Makera diara (Mokama), the writ of C P Singh, Rudal Singh (Dighwara) and Sukhnandan Rai runs in nearby Akilpur diara (Danapur). Guddu Mian and Taufir have their say in Maner and Ranjeet Singh in Digha.
Superintendent of Police (Rural) Upendra Sinha said officers had been asked to keep vigil on the ‘disputed’ land.
“The police, however, have to play a limited role in land-related disputes. When such matters come to the police, they have to contact the sub-divisional officers who have access to the land records,” he said.