PATNA: With the Bihar Police Special Branch’s May 28 missive to collect information on Sangh Parivar outfits functioning in the state snowballing into a major controversy, the axe could ultimately fall on the superintendent of police who wrote it and a few other officials.
The story broken exclusively by this newspaper on July 16 embarrassed the ruling NDA big time as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also holds the home portfolio, to which the Special Branch reports, so he had nowhere to hide.
The letter directing DSPs to provide details of leaders of RSS and its 17 affiliates came at a time when Nitish was in a sulk over berths for his JD(U) in the Union Cabinet.
Additional Director General of Police (Special Branch), G S Gangwar tried to control the damage, saying “the directive was not at the behest of the government... it was issued it without clearance.”
But the home department slapped a show-cause notice on him.
What was left unstated was why he did not withdraw it immediately since the letter was copied to him as well.
The matter figured in the state Assembly on Wednesday with BJP MLC Sachchidanand Rai questioning the government’s motive, adding the “the BJP must be careful of the intentions of Nitish.”
Another BJP MLC Sanjay Mayukh said he was astonished that the government was seeking such data. “The BJP and the RSS are shell-shocked. I have demanded a response in the Council.”
The letter gave the opposition a handle to needle Nitish. Claiming the NDA alliance was untenable, RJD leader Bhai Birendra said, “The RSS and its affiliates are divisive, which is why the CM ordered information on them.”
On whose instructions?
Senior police officers of the Special Police cannot say they were unaware of the letter.
If they do, it would mean they don’t read letters marked confidential signed by a junior officer.
“But the letter does not start with ‘as per directed’, standard phrase for instructions from the top. It is, therefore, possible that no senior official gave the instruction to write it,” said an officer.