Mafia won’t lie down until fear instilled among criminals
Yet another police officer, Lady SI, fall prey to bovine smugglers
Around the time, the mining mafia mowed Gurugram’s Dy SP Surender Singh to brutal death for daring them to stop their nefarious economic offence; the nation woke up to yet another shocker from Ranchi. A bovine smuggler mowed down a lady Sub Inspector of Jharkhand Police Sandhya Topmo when she along with her team was waiting for the cattle laden pick-up van at a check post following a tip-off.
The two incidents-one from Haryana and the other from Jharkhand-expose the vulnerability of law enforcing agencies at the hands of powerful mafia and smugglers. With impunity, they keep committing crimes and getting away too after mild hullabaloo by some netizens and sections of the media. Then everybody forgets till the next episode unfolds.
The brazen attacks on the police personnel are a mute reminder to the khaki hierarchy itself to ponder what has actually gone wrong, that the fear of uniform is fast waning. Criminals, law breakers, smugglers and mafia regime are getting emboldened beyond proportion. While having introspection, the rot of politico-administrative-criminal nexus will unfold its ugly head.
Organized crime by the mafia has become a security threat in every part of the country. It easily adapts to new environments and propagates its power, using dirty money as its weapon of choice. The beneficiaries of crime include unscrupulous politicians, bureaucrats and police ranks. Their active connivance and patronage is solely responsible for criminals becoming law unto them. The bonhomie between mafia and corrupt politicians and public officials has eroded the entire edifice of the governance system. The mafia world is replete with examples of gangsters thriving with the help of the police. Their links are only strengthened by politicians and bureaucrats who use these criminals for their own ends besides making hay while the sun is shining. Alarmed by growing crime rate in public space, the government had appointed a committee in the nineties, headed by N N Vohra, then a serving bureaucrat, later Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, to suggest ways and means to deal with this menace. The panel, in its report, had highlighted how many criminals were running a parallel government and blamed the criminal justice system for failing to effectively prosecute goons. The panel had suggested several measures to break the nexus. The apex court has also passed several orders but they have not had any salutary effect. Looking to the other side and not acting on recommendations suggested from time to time unfortunately speak volumes about lack of politico-administrative will.
The Ranchi mayhem of bovine smugglers or Gurugram mowing is not a new phenomenon in the Indian landscape. These do happen because the law breakers know where the weaknesses in the politico-administrative set up lie. Had there been any fear of law enforcing agencies, the law breakers would be thinking twice before attempting to commit crime. They have become hardened, be it Ranchi, Gurugram, Jammu or anywhere else in the country. The mafia will keep calling the shots till they enjoy the support of the politicians, bureaucrats and police rankers.
Jammu has almost become a safe haven for bovine smugglers and minor mineral mafia. The bovine cattle operators have turned so ruthless and ferocious that on May 29, 2022 smugglers under the garb of nomads attacked a police party in the Madhera village of Samba, leaving four personnel including a Sub Inspector and ASI injured. Few days earlier, on May 17, a local newspaper hilariously and sarcastically reported that ‘brave’ J&K policemen managed to flee from Ban Toll Plaza when attacked with stones and sticks. Six police personnel including SDPO and SHO were injured. Similarly, on February 15, 2021, SHO Bishnah suffered head injuries when his team was attacked by cattle smugglers, who managed to escape, taking advantage of darkness. The chronic bovine smugglers damaged several police vehicles on February 8, 2020 when three cattle laden trucks were stopped in Village Maggar Khad Lakhanpur and attacked the policemen.
These are few of the many incidents involving the cattle smugglers and mining mafia, who keep challenging the police. The scenario will continue and brave officers like Haryana Dy SP and Ranchi Lady SI will keep laying down their lives unless a fear is instilled among the criminals. This will happen only when the police, administrative officials and politicians will rise above their nefarious vested interest. (Concluded)