//Kidnappers turn to deputy collector

Kidnappers turn to deputy collector

PATNA, Jan. 19. — Extortion in Bihar scripted a new chapter in crime today when a deputy collector was asked to cough up an amount of Rs 4 lakh, failing which, the culprits threatened to kidnap his daughters. This happened shortly after the abduction of a schoolboy in Patna.

Armed men forcibly entered the house of Mr Anjani Kumar Sinha located in Kankarbagh in the state capital and demanded Rs 4 lakh from the family. The deputy collector, currently posted in Gopalganj district, rushed to his Patna residence soon after. The official is so shaken that he intends to shift his family — wife and two daughters — to another location for sometime. “We have been residing here for the past 20 years but never faced such harassment in the past,” said his wife, Mrs Mridula Sinha. She added: “The criminals left a dagger behind. They said they would collect the weapon when they came to pick up the money.”

Mumtaz, a 12-year-old student from Sherpur village of Maner on the outskirts of Patna had stepped out of his house when he was kidnapped. Vehicular traffic on the Patna-Ara road remained disrupted for several hours today after agitated

residents blocked NH-30. Mumtaz’s abduction comes barely two days after a Class IX student of Don Bosco school was snatched at gun-point by some men in a car. He is yet to be traced. His worried classmates, carrying placards and banners, are currently staging demonstrations in the state capital. They have requested the “Kidnapper Uncle” to release their friend at the earliest.

In another incident, suspected extremists torched 11 tractors used for digging a canal at Mathgaon in the chief minister, Mr Nitish Kumar’s home district — Nalanda. According to officers of Islampur police station, the Naxalites had earlier tried to extort money from the person contracted to dig the channel but he had refused to oblige them.

More than 60 persons have been kidnapped over the past 56 days — the duration of NDA rule in Bihar. Only yesterday, Mr Kumar held a meeting with senior police officers asking them to contain crime at all cost.