21 June, 2021

Reams Of History Sheets

Is he Robin Hood or just a plain goon? Whatever, he's a minister now.

T . Narayan
Reams Of History Sheets
Minister of state for heavy industries Mohammad Taslimuddin’s police record is longer than his entry in the Lok Sabha Who’s Who. He has been charged with a variety of criminal offences, most to do with perpetrating violence against public officials, covering a period between 1982 and 1998. That hasn’t prevented him from successfully pursuing a political career. If anything, it has helped. In his home district of Araria, he’s seen as a dispenser of rough and ready justice, a man who can whip erring public servants into line.

If you inquire about the slew of cases filed against him in February 1986 by public officials, you may be told they are all "political". One of the cases apparently relates to his roughing up a doctor who had refused to attend to a patient. Another relates to his protest against an errant assistant engineer. Yet others relate to his scraps with a police official and a local magistrate. A pattern emerges: government officials being strong-armed by a local heavyweight.

While Taslimuddin has tried to project himself as a kind of Robin Hood,...

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