Security forces deployed to stop loot, robbery in BiharSeptember 7th, 2008 - 1:01 pm ICT by IANS
Patna, Sep 7 (IANS) Worried over reports of criminals looting abandoned homes and robbing those fleeing the swirling flood waters of the Kosi in Bihar, the government has deployed hundreds of security personnel to provide protection.The state government had deployed more than 3,500 armed security personnel belonging to the Bihar police, Special Auxiliary Police and Home Guards to maintain law and order in the state where the flooded Kosi river has wreaked havoc since the past several days. Besides, around 3,500 army personnel and over 650 men of the National Disaster Response Force are engaged in relief and rescue operation in the areas.
“The government had deployed security forces for the safety and security of the people and their properties in flood hit areas,” an official of the home department said Sunday.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has warned of stern action against those found robbing people in flood-affected areas.
“Large number of flood victims taking shelter in relief camps have complained of theft and loot by anti-social elements,” an official said.
More than a hundred cases of theft and looting have been reported from Madhepura, Supaul, Saharsa, Araria and Purnea - the districts worst-affected by the floods that have claimed 22 lives officially and affected over 2.7 million people.
Criminals have targeted Madhepura town and smaller places like Udakishanganj, Murliganj, Bihariganj in Madhepura district.
Similar looting has been reported in towns in Supaul and Saharsa. There are reports of boatmen looting flood victims in the name of rescuing them, according to police.
Thousands of people have fled their homes, taking only the bare essentials with them and leaving behind everything else.
Many who have taken shelter in relief camps at Saharsa, Patna, Purnea and Katihar fear that their homes will be looted by criminals. There have also been unconfirmed reports of women being molested.
An official of the state disaster management department said Sunday that 882,000 marooned people have been evacuated and over 275,000 people have taken shelter in 300 relief camps.
Though the waters of the Kosi river are receding, hundreds of villages continue to remain under water.
The Kosi river, sometimes called the ‘Sorrow of Bihar’, changed course after almost two centuries following a breach in an embankment upstream in Nepal.