The turf war waged by civic and law-enforcing authorities in Mumbai against a police team from Bihar, who have landed in the financial capital acting upon an FIR filed by late Sushant Singh Rajput’s father alleging abetment to suicide, has now turned into an all-out brawl. The Bihar Police, being treated like pariahs and ‘outsiders’ in Mumbai have nevertheless persisted with their investigation, and are seen braving all hurdles being tossed their way to bring justice to the late actor and his distressed family. While a four-member police team from Bihar has been investigating the case in Mumbai since July 27, BMC authorities have now jumped in to make life all the more difficult for Bihar police officers. In face of all troubles and humiliation faced by his state police, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on expected lines, has nothing much to say.
Patna City SP Vinay Tiwari was quarantined by the BMC upon arrival in Mumbai on August 2, his hand stamped indicating the isolation period was to last till August 15. The senior IPS officer had landed in Mumbai to lead the probe being conducted by the Bihar Police into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The forceful and discriminatory quarantining of a senior police official from Bihar by civic authorities in Mumbai has only cemented the nationwide perception of the Maharashtra government and its proxies in various departments creating a hostile environment for the Bihar police team.
The wrongful quarantining of SP Vinay Tiwari has sparked a major row, and the Bihar police department is infuriated. Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey said, “IPS officer Vinay Tiwari reached Mumbai today from Patna on official duty to lead the police team there but he has been forcibly quarantined by BMC officials at 11 PM today. He was not provided accommodation in the IPS mess, despite request, and was staying in a Guest House in Goregaon.” He also told the Indian Express, “Inspector General of Police (central range) is sending a protest letter to the BMC chief for quarantining Vinay Tiwari, a police officer on duty. As per rules, he could have been exempted from quarantine restrictions.”
One would expect Nitish Kumar to stand up for Bihar’s police force, and condemn unequivocally the humiliation being handed to them on a regular basis by authorities in Mumbai. Yet, being the mute spectator that he is, Kumar could only muster the courage to say that what is happening to the police team in Mumbai was “inappropriate”. “Whatever has been done to him is inappropriate,” Kumar said when asked about Vinay Tiwari. When questioned as to whether he will be calling Uddhav Thackeray to take up the issue at the highest level, Nitish said, “It is not a political matter. The issue at hand is a legal obligation of the Bihar police. We will make all possible efforts to fulfil the same.”
The Bihar police is being humiliated in Mumbai. As such, the civic authorities, and all other quarters who have waged a concerted fight against the police team from Bihar are insulting Bihar and its people. For Nitish Kumar to take this issue lying down, and further calling it non-political is shameful, to say the least. Had the matter indeed been non-political, the authorities in Mumbai would be extending all possible help to their counterparts from Bihar to carry out a smooth investigation into the case.
From denying transportation facilities to the Bihar police team, to the rough handling of them outside a police station and stuffing members of the team in a police van, social media is replete with fury over the behaviour being meted out by Mumbai Police to their colleagues from Bihar. The latest instance of BMC wrongfully quarantining an IPS officer, despite all provisions of making exceptions in such cases being available, serves as a reminder towards the hostile environment under which the team from Bihar is carrying out their investigation.
Nitish Kumar, after having failed to check the spread of COVID-19 in Bihar, has subsequently also failed in handling the menace of floods in the state, which have disrupted the lives of innumerable people. Now, the Chief Minister also couldn’t care less for the pride of Bihar being tossed around in Mumbai.