LJP legislator arrest cripples business

Patna, Nov. 10: Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) supporters today enforced a shutdown at Jogbani market on the India-Nepal boundary in north Bihar in protest against the arrest of party MLA from Ar-aria Zakir Anwar in connection with an abduction case.

Zakir Anwar, alias Zakir Hussan Khan, was arrested along with one of his associates at Jhapa in Morang district of Nepal yesterday for his alleged involvement in the abduction of business tycoon Tulsiram Agarwal for a huge ransom in 2002.

As the news about the MLA's arrest spread in Araria, his supporters today gathered near his residence at Jogbani and took out a protest march.

They forced the shopkeepers to keep their shutters down to show solidarity with the LJP's demonstration against the alleged highhandedness of Nepal police. They also disrupted traffic along the boundary for nearly six hours.

Kishanganj superintendent of police (SP) Manoj Kumar, who is holding additional charge of Araria in absence of Shivdeep Lande, said the LJP supporters forced the closure of the shopsin the main markets. Later, they handed over a memorandum to the Jogbani sub-divisional police officer and the circle officer. Kumar, however, described the situation at Jogbani "well under control". Adequate armed forces have been deployed to keep tabs on the LJP workers' activities, as the town is close to the international border. He added that "such sensitive issues should be dealt cautiously".

The Araria lawmaker, Anwar, was arrested with accomplice Bhola Shanker Tiwari, a former Jogbani panchayat parishad chief, at Jhapa when they had gone to attend a wedding ceremony.

It took more than six months for the Nepal police to arrest a serving member the Bihar legislative assembly, whose name figured in the list of most-wanted persons of Indian origin in the Himalayan country for their alleged involvement in criminal offences. Kumar told The Telegraph that the Morang (Nepal) SP had handed over the list of the "most-wanted persons" of Indian origin in Nepal to Lande at a high-level meeting of the district coordination committee of both Bihar and Nepal authorities on April 16, 2012.

The name of Zakir Mian, as Anwar is popularly known in the area, figured on top of the most-wanted list, followed by Tiwari, for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of Tulsiram Agarwal from Biratnagar in Nepal, around six km from Jogbani border in Bihar on January 27, 2002.

The list, however, contained names of 35 other persons evading arrest in Nepal for long. Sources said the name of Muzaffarpur-based gangster Naga Singh also figured in the list. Considered a close associate of Pappu Dev, Singh is also absconding in the case related to Agarwal's kidnapping.

"Though the list contains names of nearly 70 to 80 people, we shortlisted them on the basis of seriousness of the offences they were involved in," said Lande, who is away in Musoorie in Uttarakhand for training. Pappu, who was arrested earlier, is lodged in a jail in Nepal in the same case.