Manoj Chaurasia/The Statesman
PATNA: Lawmaker in Bihar, lawbreaker in Nepal. This is the case of Zakir Anwar, alias “Zakir Mian”, Lok Janshakti Party legislator from Araria, who figures among the list of 50 criminals of Indian origin wanted by the Nepal police for serious crimes like murder, kidnapping and smuggle of narcotics.
The list was handed over to the state police during the coordination meeting of Bihar and Nepal authorities held in the Himalayan Kingdom earlier this week. The list also mentions that all the criminals figuring in the most wanted list are reportedly taking shelter in the border district of Araria under various fictitious names while seeking cooperation from the local authorities in arresting the absconders dodging the Nepalese police for long.
Mr Anwar, the lone legislator from Ram Vilas Paswan’s party, is wanted by the Nepalese police in connection with the kidnapping of a prominent businessman Tulsi Agrawal in 2002. It is said Mr Agrawal was released by the abductors after 20 days of captivity only after he had coughed up a whopping Rs 5 crore. The complicity of Mr Anwar in the crime came up reportedly during the interrogation of a dreaded gangster from Bihar, Pappu Dev, now lodged in a Nepal jail.
The development has come as a severe embarrassment to the LJP now trying hard to increase its base in Bihar. Perhaps, this is the reason that the party is refusing to say anything over the issue. Initially, the legislator himself tried to divert the issue saying “his name is different from what has been written in the list of criminals handed over by the Nepalese police” but on constant grilling by the local media he said it was part of a large conspiracy hatched by his political adversaries to defame him. “The day when Mr Agrawal was kidnapped, I was in Nepal. So, how can I be involved in the incident?” he asked.
However, local district superintendent of police Shivdeep W Lande said he would extend all possible cooperation to the Nepal counterpart in getting the absconders arrested. “I have asked them to come and identify the criminals as named in the wanted list,” Mr Lande said today, adding this would help check crime in both countries.
India shares around a thousand km of open border with Nepal which has proved a blessing in disguise for criminal gangs.