Private armies have been on the rampage in the last week. Isn't it possible to keep a check on them?
Private armies like the Ranvir Sena are being funded by one caste in the state. It is being backed by the BJP, which comprises feudal elements and known destabilisers. Killings such as these are being engineered to malign my government. Even though I have banned private armies, it is impossible to control their movements. They cannot hold public meetings, but how can anyone stop their movements? And it is not written on anybody's face what his affiliation is.
But steps have to be taken.
Yes they have to be. I am personally conducting raids. Last night I visited brick kilns around Patna district and rescued women who were being molested by landlord goons. (He presents a woman, Sangeeta, and her child—rescued personally by him). Take this case as an example. The molestation was being carried out by known BJP leaders in the district.
Who are these BJP leaders?
Among others, C.P. Thakur, a former MP who I hold responsible for funding private armies like the Ranvir Sena and attending dinners at their houses. He has been a regular visitor at the house of Lac-hman Singh, one of the key accused in the Haibuspur carnage. (At a press conference later in the day, Thakur said the chief minister's charge was bogus).
Are only upper-caste elements heading private armies?
A number of them are, but there is no doubt that there are feudal and landlord tendencies amongst the backwards as well. I am quite aware of it and am willing to take remedial measures.
What about the flow of illegal arms, which is in abundance in the state?
I am evolving a long-term strategy to check these, but it cannot be made public. It is not necessary that all administrative details have to be provided to journalists. Then even before a policy is formulated, the goons would have devised a way to counter it.
What about the charge that some private armies have the Janata Dal's patronage?
Ask the people who make such a charge to prove it! I suggest you move around the state and see for yourself. Here I am working hard to mitigate the sufferings of Dal-its, and feudal elements are out to defame me. They hold up trains and I get the blame, they slaughter Dalits and I am held responsible. I have set up special courts to deal with Harijan atrocities. I am going to identify the elements and demolish them.