Bihar kidnappings shock, scare NRIs


Patna : Non-Resident Indians from Bihar are shocked and worried over the rising incidents of kidnapping in the state as the fear of abductions once again returns to haunt the people.

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Many NRI’s expressed their anguish four days after Neelesh Kumar Seth, a businessman, was abducted in Bihar’s Banka district last week. His brother Sanjeev Kumar, based in California, appealed to the abductors to free him after police failed to make any breakthrough.

“I appeal to the abductors to release my brother,” Sanjeev Kumar said in an e-mail to mediapersons here.

He said he has also approached top police officials and the media via telephone for his brother’s safe recovery.

Neelesh Kumar Seth, who runs a jewellery business, was kidnapped at gunpoint by unidentified men in Banka Wednesday evening while he was on his way to Deogarh in neighbouring Jharkhand, an official said.

Police suspect that he was abducted for ransom. But the family has not yet received any ransom call, the official added.

Piyush Behari Lal, another NRI from Bihar, also expressed his anguish.

“It’s pathetic to see crimes and abductions rising in Bihar again. I am worried because I too am planning to return from the United States and start my research lab in Bihar, which will help underprivileged talented students,” he said in an e-mail to reporters here.

“But these criminal acts force me to think again. I now wonder if it would be wise to return to a place of criminals, even though it is my home. Will I too be abducted,” Lal asked.

Sharad, another US-based Indian, said it was shocking to read about the increasing incidents of kidnapping in Bihar.

“I am with Sanjeev and many like him who are facing this moment of crisis. I sincerely urge local media to put pressure on the Bihar government to come out of its election victory hangover and start working towards the safety of its pople,” Sharad said in an e-mail.

Ejaz Ahmad, who is based in Dubai, also joined the chorus of shock and anger from overseas.

“It looks as if Chief Minister Nitish Kumar acted on abduction cases only for a few months before his election. Now that he won the election in a big way he has no time to look into all this lawlesslessness and abductions. It again proves that Bihar is not going to improve, no matter who comes into power. At the end of the day, all politicians are same,” Ahmad said in his message.

Another NRI based in the US, Rajesh K. Illango, said that the situation is very unfortunate. “The worst for those of us on the other side of the globe is the helplessness. I hope Neeraj returns without a scratch. His safe release will definitely improve the image of Bihar and the administration of Nitish Kumar,” he said via e-mail.

During the last one month, more than a dozen cases of kidnapping have been reported across the state.

The fresh abduction spree is giving sleepless nights to parents, teachers and school authorities as several abducted schoolboys were killed during the last four years.

The news of the killing of schoolboy Amarjeet Kumar and other abducted people, including Rajiv Singh in the last few weeks has created panic. Nearly two weeks after his abduction, police last week recovered the body of Rajiv Singh, husband of Khushbu Devi of Dumra block under Sitamarhi district.

Rajiv was abducted Dec 17 and two days later the kidnappers rang up his wife to inform that, unlike in the case of her son, she would not be able to see even the body of her husband.

In January 2009, Rajiv’s son Amandeep was kidnapped and later killed.

Additional Director General of Police P.K. Thakur admitted that the police was worried over a sudden spurt in cases of kidnapping in the state.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had claimed during the poll campaign that kidnappings had come down drastically during his rule.