Bihar village gets a treat for staying off crime
There was a grand feast. The venue: Dumraith Tola. The date: Tuesday. The menu: Pulao, Halwa, Dal-tadka and Gobi-kofta. The guests: Villagers. The host: Superintendent of Police, Bhabua district, Rajesh Kumar.patna Updated: Dec 12, 2008 01:52 IST
There was a grand feast. The venue: Dumraith Tola. The date: Tuesday. The menu: Pulao, Halwa, Dal-tadka and Gobi-kofta. The guests: Villagers. The host: Superintendent of Police, Bhabua district, Rajesh Kumar.
And the reason: The village, traditionally perceived as a crime-prone zone even during the British period, has turned itself into a crime-free one. And the SP is keeping his promise of a feast of a lifetime.
Almost every able-bodied villager, barring women and children, were involved in crime. Police raids and arrests were common in this village of Musahars, located on the banks of the Kuhira about 24 km northwest of the district headquarters.
Dumraith Tola, a settlement of 150 huts, was notorious for kidnapping, loot, burglary and highway robbery, with pending cases against 62 villagers till November in Bhabua police station alone.
But the local police made a decisive change. The 300-odd villagers are now employed in projects under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and other such schemes.
In November, Kumar promised the villagers a huge feast if they turned the area crime-free. He directed station house officer R.P. Singh and chowkidar Sumer Bind to motivate the villagers to shun crime.
The efforts proved unbelievable. Within a year, not a single case of crime was reported in this region.
Now, it was the turn of the SP to fulfill his promise. Men, women and children sat with the SP, Dy SPs and other officers and enjoyed the feast.
Bechani, a 90-year-old handicapped widow, had tears in her eyes. “I have never had such delicious food, and respect from the police in my life. I had only seen beating, abuse, arrests and destroying of huts.”