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Bihar crime forces flight of capital

Bihar crime forces flight of capital

Author: Arun Kumar
Publication: The Hindustan Times
Date: February 11, 2004
URL: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_566466,000900030002.htm

The Governor knows it. The Patna High Court has said it many times. The people witness it every day. The Bihar government cannot be unaware of it either, though it prefers to look the other way.

It is one of the state's worst-kept secrets that the deteriorating law and order situation has forced a large number of traders to shift their operations out of Bihar over the past few years.

For example, the once-bustling premises of the Mithila Motors are today empty. In view of the deteriorating law and order situation, the proprietor thought it wise to down the shutters.

The latest case is that of Hotel Republic, which changed hands recently in an operation no one got wind of. Other hotels in Patna have reportedly gone the same way.

The Poddars, the proprietors of Ashirwad Polytubes, have shifted their family and business to Bangalore. The place that once housed Usha Polytubes now has some construction work going on. Once known as the 'industry king,' Harish Modi of Modi Steel fame also left the state capital.

There is hardly a segment unaffected by the 'eviction drive'.

The proprietors of Nirankari Motors, dealing in spare motor parts, have settled in Ludhiana. They are reportedly in the process of winding up their business here as is the case with some big names in the medicine trade.

The number of business establishments closing down without a protest is endless. And this is not confined to Patna alone.

Shankar Vastralaya of Gaya, Devi Prasad Sultania of Araria and the Singhanias of Jamalpur have migrated to other states when they found it impossible to run their enterprises in Bihar.

Remarkably, nobody in the business community is willing to speak on the issue. Needless to say, it is the fear factor that has silenced them. "I have to frequently visit Delhi, Mumbai and Gujarat, as most of my clients have shifted to those places," said a taxation lawyer. "I could give you a long list of traders fleeing the state, but I won't as my clients do not want further trouble."

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