New Delhi: The BJP on Saturday said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will now face his “real litmus test” for maintaining law and order in the state following release of former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin from jail after 11 years.
“Nitish Kumar is now going to have his real litmus test, whether he will allow Bihar to slide into lawlessness and ‘jungle raj’ (lawlessness) overpowering security or he will rise to the ocassion,” Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.
“We have a very genuine concern that many of those who were victims of the crimes of that gentleman (Shahabuddin) who has been convicted in many cases, is facing trial in many cases of heinous offences, and those who have deposed against him or their henchmen, will be given proper protection?” he asked.
“They are living under great fear… that also includes some journalist have faced death and many have died also,” Prasad added.
His remarks came as Shahabuddin walked out of Bhagalpur jail on Saturday after spending 11 years behind bars. Arrested in connection with the murder of Rajiv Ranjan, an eye witness in the murder of his two brothers — Girish Raj and Satish Raj — in Siwan district in August 2004, he was granted bail by the Patna High Court in the case.
BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, at a separate press conference, said that Shahabuddin’s release had increased the morale of criminals in the state and Nitish Kumar must accept that there is “jungle raj” in the state.
“After the symbol of fear (Shahabuddin) was granted bail by the court, an atmosphere of terror has hit Bihar again,” Hussain told reporters here.
“The way in which a cavalcade was taken out after he (Shahabuddin) came out of jail, and the way in which the ruling party MLA and ministers joined his cavalcade clearly proves that the state government has failed to control the crime and criminals in the state,” he alleged.
Taking a dig at Nitish Kumar, Hussain said, “After coming out of jail, Shahabuddin described (Rashtriya Janata Dal chief) Lalu (Prasad) as his leader while he termed Nitish Kumar as the Chief Minister of circumstances which clearly describes the condition of the state.”
“He (Nitish Kumar) must accept that there is jungle raj (lawlessness) in the state and no sushashan (good governance) as even his alliance partner leaders are not ready to accept him as their leader,” he added.
Accusing the Bihar government of not presenting its case properly in the court, Hussain said: “The entire state government machinery was used to protect Shahabuddin.”
“The government roped in good senior lawyers from Delhi to represent the liquor ban case in the court but it didn’t bother to bring good lawyers to represent Rajiv Ranjan case in the court,” he claimed.