Extortion threats force Bihar doctor couple to leave government service

September 6th, 2012 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Sep 6 (IANS) A doctor couple in Bihar’s East Champaran district have resigned from their jobs at a government hospital after repeated extortion demands and threats by a gangster. They also slammed the local administration for its inactivity and lack of support.

Dipak Kumar and Seema Sinha resigned from their jobs in a government hospital in district headquarters Motihari last week, said a police official, investigating their case.

The couple termed it a painful decision, but said they had no other option to retain their self-respect and get rid of the threat to their lives.

“We left a good job in New Delhi nearly five years ago and returned to Bihar to work and contribute in the development of the state. Now we are sorry to say that our decision was wrong,” said Dipak Kumar, who is in his late 30s.

“What disappointed us was the police inaction and lack of support from the district officials to provide safety and security after being threatened by the gangster,” he said.

According to Dipak Kumar, he informed local police that extortion demand of Rs.10 lakh was demanded thrice from them since July 20. Police identified criminal Rajan Sahni as being behind the demand, arrested him and sent him to jail.

However, this did not lead to any safety for the couple.

“We were worried after Sahni’s gang Aug 5 killed another man, Ganesh Singh, for his failure to pay up on the extortion demand and the gang demanded money from us again. They also warned us on Aug 11 that if we failed to pay extortion soon, we will meet the same fate,” said Dipak Kumar.

Acting on the couple’s complaint, the couple were provided with a security guard.

However, their demand that they be exempted from emergency duty during night hours was rejected.

“We were left to god’s mercy,” Seema said.

The couple had last week decided to restrict their visits to their clinic, while their two children, aged seven and five, have stopped going to school.

“We feel threatened and far from safe in Motihari after resigning from the jobs,” Dipak Kumar said.

Now the couple is thinking seriously of returning to New Delhi or any place outside Bihar.

“Unless there is a guarantee of safety, we are not in a position to think over it,” they said.

The plight of the couple has raised questions of the law and order situation in the state.

“Think twice of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s claims of good governance and establishment of rule of law in Bihar if the doctor couple’s story is anything to go by,” said a district official, who did not want to be named.

According to figures, Bihar has seen a rise in crimes like kidnapping for ransom, extortion, rape, murder, loot and robbery in the last few months. Several incidents of gangrape also created a flutter across the state.

Forced by opposition parties’s protest against rising crime, Bihar Police launched a drive against criminals as part of an endeavour to improve the law and order situation.

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