[tps_title][/tps_title]Patna: Fear of return of Jungle Raj has gripped Bihar in the wake of release of criminal-turned politician, Shahabuddin, free movement of his sharp-shooter and their proximity to Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members who are a major force in the state.
The sharp-shooter who is suspected to have killed a journalist in Siwan district was seen with one of Lalu's son, Tej Pratap Yadav who is holding health portfolio, in a photograph which has gone viral in the social media.
Many saw the photograph on Wednesday and Thursday. The police could not. For, it is still claiming that he is traceless though he is moving freely in the state capital. The murder was committed several months ago but for the the police he is is still "absconding".
The statement of the minister who has appeared in the photograph is equally intriguing . "Many people meet me every day. I do not know many of them including him."
Shahabuddin is not the only ruling Rashtriya Janta Dal leader who has put the government in the state in a bad light. Before him a party MLA and a party MLC had embarrassed the government. Both of them were considered close to Lalu , the party supremo.
The MLA, to refresh the memory of political watchers, was charged with a rape of a minor girl. The police had claimed then that it had formed several teams to raid the places where he could be hiding and that he would be arrested soon. But it had failed to nab him, may be because of his closeness to Lalu and other family members. He was sent to jail later only because he had surrendered in a court.
There are quite a few instances of police inaction and political patronage to criminals. All this is understandable. What is puzzling is chief minister Nitish Kumar's silence on the developments following release of Shahabuddin from jail on bail.
He is silent even when he has been called a " circumstantial" chief minister. Nitish is known as a no-nonsense man. Has he changed and become a practical politician who is ready for compromises to stay in power?