Nitish Kumar loses cool after journalists question him over Patna murder case

Nitish was speaking at an event, when journalists interjected, referring to the murder of an employee of a private airline outside his residence in Patna on Tuesday

Press Trust of India January 15, 2021 21:57:42 IST
Nitish Kumar loses cool after journalists question him over Patna murder case

File photo of Nitish Kumar. ANI

Patna: A heated exchange was witnessed on Friday between Bihar chief Minister Nitish Kumar and journalists when they nettled him over a high-profile murder case that rocked the state capital earlier this week.

Kumar was talking to reporters after inaugurating the first phase of 'Atal Path', a Rs 379.57 crore-worth elevated multiple lane road project in Patna.

As the chief minister began to speak about the improvement in infrastructure since he assumed power a decade and a half ago, he was interrupted by journalists who insisted that the law and order situation has deteriorated, citing the example of a young official of a private airlines being gunned down outside his residence in the city Tuesday evening.

"Please do not mix up the issues of development and crime," Kumar requested and then snapped when reporters persisted, and said, "Your projection will demoralise the state police which is doing its job. I had myself summoned the DGP and gave necessary directions".

Responding to their contention that the police was not able to prevent crime, he retorted, "Does a murderer seek permission before he commits the offence? Do you have any necessary inputs to share? If so, please go ahead".

"Bihar has one of the lowest crime rates across the country. Please have a look at other states before painting a grim picture. And do you remember how bad things were when for a decade and a half the state was ruled by pati-patni (supposedly referring to Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi)," a visibly irritated chief minister said.

Some of the senior journalists said they were willing to share their inputs with the police but felt hamstrung as the DGP did not pick up the phone and the person receiving calls simply noted down details of the caller with the promise that the officer will call back which never happened.

The chief minister then telephoned the DGP SK Singhal himself and directed him to spruce up the mechanism for communication with journalists. A hastily issued order from the state police chief ensued, enlisting mobile and landline numbers which media persons could dial to contact him.

After the episode, the chief minister left for Rajgir, a tourist spot. He dedicated to the public 'Venu Van', a sprawling ancient park, said to be in existence since the time of the Buddha, which has been given a facelift by the department of environment, forestry and climate change.

He also dedicated to the public 'Ghora Katora Park', yet another tourist spot in the central Bihar town, the original seat of power of the ancient kingdom of Magadh which was later shifted to Pataliputra, which is now known as Patna.

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