PATNA: Tasked with the job of bringing Bihar’s spiraling crime graph down in the election season, DGP Gupteshwar Pandey on Friday told policemen in the state to retaliate with bullets instead of reciting Hanuman Chalisa if any criminal fires at them during raids.
“Bullets will be fired return for bullets. I have told the police force that if an absconding criminal being surrounded by policemen fires at them instead of surrendering, then the policemen will not sit there and recite Hanuman Chalisa. They will have to make the criminal surrender,” said Pandey, who took over as DGP a week ago.
Defending an encounter in Muzaffarpur a day after he took over, Pandey said: “Encounters are not done; they happen”. Policemen had fired from an AK-47 rifle to neutralise criminal hiding in a crowded bus stand at Muzaffarpur on February 1. The criminal and his gang members had shot dead a transporter minutes earlier.
“The job of police is to arrest the criminals and ensure their conviction by the court. We neither slap any criminal nor do we want to. But if a criminal fires a bullet at us, we will fire ten bullets,” said Pandey, a 1987-batch IPS officer known for his successful community policing experiments, after holding a review meeting of police functioning at Ara, the headquarters town of Bhojpur district.
Pandey discussed with policemen the problems they face during their day-to-day policing work and offered them total support for doing their job honestly and lawfully.
“I cannot alone take this burden (bringing the crime rate down). This is why I am forming teams, starting from the constables to senior officials. I am visiting all the places and asking everyone (in the police force) to rise and stay alert. If you see criminals running away, I want to see you chasing them and arresting them,” he said.
On Friday, at least five people were shot dead in separate incidents in Bihar. A BJP worker was shot dead in Aurangabad while a panchayat secretary was shot dead in Begusarai. A man was shot dead while sleeping at his home in Lakhiserai. A villager shot dead and a priest was injured during a robbery of idols from a temple in Samastipur.