The Bihar Post

Bihar plans ‘speedy trials’ of criminals involved in killings of Mukhiayas, other council representatives

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PATNA—Alarmed at the continuing killing of newly-elected Mukhiyas (village council chief) and other panchayat representatives, the Bihar government has planned to hold speedy trials of the criminals involved in the crime and delay their bails for a longer period.

The state government was prompted to initiate this step after as many as five Mukhiyas, a sarpanch and a ward councilor were killed in cold blood allegedly by their political adversaries shortly after they had won elections.

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“The killing of the newly-elected panchayat representatives is a matter of serious concern for us. So we have planned to hold speedy trials of the murder accused within three months,” Bihar panchayati raj minister Samrat Chaudhary told reporters today. He also asked the home department officials to provide adequate security to any representative who reports a threat to life.

The minister said the continuing killings of the elected representatives were indeed worrying and the government was initiating all steps to put a check on it. According to him, the criminals not surrendering before the law enforcement agencies after murders would have their houses razed to the ground.

According to the minister, of the total elected representatives, 90 percent are fresh faces. In such a situation providing security to them is indeed a big challenge for the local administration and the government.

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Taking the matter seriously, the Panchayati Raj department has already begun installing CCTV cameras in every panchayat to keep an eye on anti-social elements. As per the report, the state government plans to install 100 CCTV cameras in every panchayat.

The development follows after seven panchayat representatives, including five mukhiyas, were gunned down allegedly by their rivals shortly after they were declared as winners in the 11-phase panchayat elections which concluded last month.

While two Mukhiyas were killed in Patna, one each was murdered in Arrah, Jamui and Munger districts. Again, a deputy Sarpanch was killed in Rohtas while a ward councillor was murdered in Naubatpur area of Patna as well.

Of all the murder of a mukhiya in Patna was quite horrible. The victim Neeraj Kumar was present in the local market when three motorcycle-borne youths said ‘namste’ to him with folded hands before shooting him dead from a point-blank range. He died on the spot.

Another mukhiya Sanjay Singh was returning home on his bike after thanking villagers for voting for him in the elections when ambulance-riding gunmen blocked his way at a lonely place and sprayed bullets on him, leaving him dead. The victim who was elected from Babubandh panchayat in Bhojpur district had not even taken oath of office.

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