Return of Jungle Raj: Escalating Sand Mafia Violence Raises Concerns in Bihar

Patna: The recent surge in violence perpetrated by the sand mafia in Bihar reflects a disturbing return of lawlessness reminiscent of the infamous Jungle Raj era. The sand mafias, having gained significant influence, are now allegedly operating parallel governments in their strongholds. This resurgence of criminal activities follows the state's prohibition of liquor businesses, making sand mining a lucrative venture and a primary revenue source for the government.

Economic Dominance of Sand Mafias:
The prohibition of liquor businesses in Bihar has elevated sand mining to a major revenue stream for the state. The government awards mining contracts to extract sand, attracting strongmen who vie for control over mining pockets along rivers like the Sone, Ganga, Gandak, Kosi, and Parman.

Alarming Rise in Sand Mafia-Related Murders:
In the past five days alone, three murders linked to the sand mafia have shaken the state. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused leaders of the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of complicity in the sand business, claiming that the mafia operates an underground economy surpassing Rs 25 lakh crore.

BJP Allegations and Political Connections:
BJP spokesperson Arvind Kumar Singh alleges that the sand mafia runs a parallel economy, suggesting connections with RJD supremo Lalu Yadav's family. Singh contends that the sand mafias thrive under RJD rule, accusing them of enjoying political protection.

Police Personnel Targeted:
Recent incidents include the mowing down of a police sub-inspector by a sand mafia tractor near Mahulia Tand village. Despite police claims of taking action, these incidents persist, pointing to a war for supremacy among various sand mafia gangs.

Insensitive Remarks by Political Leaders:
Shockingly, Bihar Education Minister Chandra Shekhar dismissed the recent incidents, stating that such occurrences are "nothing new." This indifferent attitude extends to Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswhi Yadav, who claimed ignorance of the police officer's killing.

The unabated violence and criminal activities orchestrated by the sand mafia pose a severe challenge to the JDU-RJD government. As these incidents escalate, questions arise about the government's ability to curb the sand mafias and protect those who oppose their illegal operations. The disturbing echoes of the Jungle Raj era in Bihar's recent history raise concerns about law and order in the state.

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