Bihar criminals shun mobiles, use postal letters for extortion
By Imran Khan, Patna, Feb 25 : Gangsters and other criminals in Bihar are shunning mobile phones and emails and turning to postal letters and couriers to run their rackets, threaten people and extort money, say police. The reason: letters help them avoid the police radar while phones are easy to track.
"They are reluctant to use mobile phones and emails to establish contact with their associates or issue threat to demand extortion, fearing that police will catch them, using its technology network," a police officer told IANS, not wishing to be identified.
"Now they have adopted old methods to give us a slip," said the officer posted in police headquarters here. He did not want to be named.
According to police, gangsters and criminals are using ordinary post and courier services to protect their identity and keep their location secret.
"After we arrested some hard-core criminals by tracking their movement through mobile surveillance, they have become shy of using cellphones," said the officer.
Another officer told IANS in the last few months, they came across several instances where criminals in many districts sent letters or couriers to issue threats.
"It was revealed during investigations in few cases that criminals or gangsters lodged in jails across the state are using letters to run their network," said the official, who too did not want to be identified.
The inmates, he said, send letters outside the jail through visitors or after bribing the guards.
However, Maoist guerrillas in rural Bihar have been using letters to threaten contractors and traders.
It was common in Bihar for criminals to use mobiles to issue threats or demand money from businessmen, traders, doctors, contractors and even legislators and members of parliament.
"Using mobile surveillance, police cracked many cases and arrested many criminals," said another officer.
Bihar's tech savvy police chief Abhyanand is known to employ innovative ways of policing and ordering officials to use mobile surveillance to check and control crime.
Police are probing several cases, including the murder case of Ranvir Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh from June last year, where the main accused has been found using letters to communicate with his men.
"After we arrested half a dozen suspects through mobile surveillance, the main accused stopped using mobiles," a police official said. Police are yet to arrest the accused Abhay Pandey and Nand Gopal Pandey.
Use of letters to issue threats was spreading among inmates in Patna, Gaya and Munger jails, said police.
They opted for the alternative after police, using voice spectrograph tests, found five inmates of Munger jail demanding extortion on phone.
(Imran Khan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)