Bihar police officer says legislator a threat to peaceful polls

March 30th, 2009 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, March 30 (IANS) A police officer in Bihar has written to the state’s chief election officer, saying that Anant Singh, a legislator of ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U), is “a threat” to the peaceful conduct of the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar, official sources said Monday.
Amitabh Kumar Das, commandant of the Bihar Military Police-11 in Jamui district, said in his letter sent Sunday that ensuring a free and fair election would be difficult as Anant Singh, the controversial legislator from Mokama, could attempt to intimidate voters or capture polling booths.

Das said Anant Singh has several sophisticated weapons at his home in his ancestral village of Nadma in Barh sub division of rural Patna district. The weapons, including AK-47 rifles and light machine guns, might be used to threaten voters.

Official sources said Das had also sent a copy of the letter to the inspector general of police (intelligence).

Despite several attempts by IANS to contact Anant Singh, the politician remained unavailable to comment on the letter. However, JD-U spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Shivanand Tiwari said: “We have no idea in what capacity Das has written a letter alleging that Anant Singh could cause trouble during the polls. What is the source of his information? It is his habit to create a controversy and hit headlines.”

Das has in the past taken on powerful politicians with criminal records, including Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammad Shahabuddin and JD-U MP Prabhunath Singh. He had also demanded that the Ranvir Sena, an upper caste militia, be declared a terrorist outfit.

Locally known as “Chote Sarkar”, Anant Singh is feared for his money and muscle power. There are dozens of criminal cases, including those for murder, kidnapping and extortion, registered against him.

Last week, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Anant Singh by the Patna High Court in connection with a murder case lodged with the police in Patna. He was arrested with four of his henchmen for attacking journalists on Nov 1, 2007 but later set free.

The politician, who belongs to the powerful upper caste Bhumihar community, is considered close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

In 2004, Singh was seen brandishing an AK-47 rifle in public but no action was taken against him. Under the law, only security personnel are allowed to carry the assault rifle.

–Indo-Asian News service


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