Criminals are back in business in Patna, after a gap of two years. During the last 31 days, 24 people — including two schoolchildren and five businessmen — have been murdered in the city.
As the crime chart has hit the roof just before Durga Puja, people in Patna and adjacent areas aren’t sure whether the puja this year would be as peaceful as in the previous two years.
In September, all types of crime — from snatching to murder — have witnessed a sharp spurt in the state capital. Patna senior superintendent of police Amit Kumar, however, said, “The crime figures this year are much lower than those during the last five years.”
But what Kumar has failed to recognise is that the September figures are exceptionally high this year. He, however, said his men were after the criminals and they would be brought to book soon.
Although the number of criminal incidents went up each week in the run-up to the puja, breakthroughs have eluded the police in a majority of cases. Ill-equipped and short on manpower, the police have also to handle the battle against the Naxalites.
“It is almost back to what it was three years ago when the Nitish Kumar government assumed power,” said Kavita Narayan of Danapur. She added, “Now, we are afraid to venture out for shopping.”
Trisha Tripti, a college student, wondered if she would be able to visit puja pandals this year.
Police blame — besides shortage of men and equipments — the changed modus operandi of the criminals for the sudden spurt in crime. Now, young men without any police records are being used as ‘front men’.