PATNA: Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi’s appeal to criminals in Gaya not to perpetrate criminal acts during the ongoing Pitrupaksh pindadaan fortnight was on Tuesday slammed by the state’s Opposition parties.
Pitrupaksh Mela, a fortnight-long ritual during which Hindus offer homage to their ancestors, started on the banks of the Falgu river in Gaya on Sunday. Thousands of Hindus from across the country and abroad gather in the town to participate in the rituals, for which the state government has made elaborate arrangements.
“I request all criminals with folded hands not to indulge in any crime at least for the next 10 to 15 days. The rest of the days you keep doing this and that and the cops are after you. But at least during the Pitrupaksh Mela, which is a time of deep religious sentiments, please do not engage in criminal acts that would bring a bad name to this festival and Bihar,” said Modi in his speech while inaugurating the event on Sunday.
With a number of sensational murders having taken place in Bihar in recent weeks, the deputy chief minister’s comments were dubbed by the Opposition parties as the Nitish Kumar-led state government’s helplessness before criminals. Former Muzaffarpur Mayor Sameer Kumar Singh and his driver were shot dead on Sunday evening with AK-47 rifles by unidentified criminals. Property dealer and criminal Tabrej Alam was shot dead near Kotwali police station in Patna in broad day light on Friday.
“Such an appeal to criminals by the deputy chief minister is shocking. It shows that Bihar’s NDA government is at the mercy of criminals. Instead of controlling crime, they are now requesting criminals to stop their nefarious acts,” said the Opposition RJD’s national vice-president Shivanand Tiwary.
RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, attacked the state government over Modi’s comments. “Bihar Dy CM Sushil Modi shamelessly with folded hands begging to criminals, not to commit any crime in next 15 days as it dents his govt’s image. Later in festive season u r free to do what u do like kidnap, loot & shoot….shame on U Mr. Modi! The hypocrite reciter of Jungalraj,” tweeted Tejashwi.
The Opposition Congress and HAM also flayed Modi for his comments, claiming that criminals in Bihar had lost all fear for police. the ruling JD(U) and BJP, however, said Modi’s statements were being twisted out of context for political purpose.
“What Modi said was with the noble intention of ensuring that the annual Pitrupaksh Mela passes out smoothly and peacefully. The Opposition parties’ criticism shows they are devoid of credible issues to target the government,” said JD(U) MLC and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.