SIRAHA, June 18: There was a time when Jhija and Akaura villages in Siraha were notorious as a haven for dacoits. Robbers and dacoits here were so powerful that even security personnel would not dare to enter the villages. Among the 400 households in the two villages, 135 households of ‘Paswan’ community would identify themselves as dacoits without hesitation. But in 1980 things changed. The government decided to rehabilitate them in society. The government provided them a total of 416 bigha of land and encouraged them to engage in farming. In addition, the government also provided them monthly food rations. Following such support from the government, many people of this community quit robbery and started making their livelihoods through agriculture. While some left the village for foreign employment, some even became ascetics. However, after decades, robbers and dacoits are again surfacing in the district, according to police.
Police investigation into a three-year-old case of burglary in Siraha has shown that some people belonging to the Paswan community from the once notorious villages were involved.
Also, in recent cases of theft, we have found involvement of people from the same villages. Over three weeks ago, a group of robbers had broken into the houses of Rameshwar Yadav, Rajaram Yadav and Prakash Tiwari of Mirchaiya-7, Siraha. The robbers had made off with cash, gold jewelry, laptops and cell phones from the houses. Before breaking into the houses, they had detonated a bomb in the area. The house of IGP of Nepal Police Upendra Kanta Aryal also lies in the same area. Within 25 days of the robbery, a special team of the Central Investigation Bureau arrested five people, and all are from Punarbas of Jhija.
The arrested are Sangita Paswan, Birendra Paswan, Nandakishore Paswan, Binayakumar Paswan and the kingpin has been identified as 55-year-old Rukum Paswan.
According to DSP Shyam Gyawali, gold items, mobile phones, laptops, cash and weapons such as axe and sticks have been recovered from the arrested. He further added that such groups have been found operating in organized manner. “It’s a new challenge for law enforcement,” he said. According to him some of those involved in the robbery are still at large and are thought to have fled to India.