Security personnel are commissioned by the state to maintain peace and security in society. They are supposed to control cross-border smuggling, gambling and the likes, but what happens when they openly play cards in public view themselves.

This is what is being talked about across the district these days.

Recently, photos and videos of security agency officials, including their chiefs in Sarlahi, feasting and playing cards in an open ground were leaked. In the leaked photos and videos, Sarlahi CDO Ram Kumar Mahato, Sarlahi police chief Santosh Singh Rathaur, APF SP Gangaram Shrestha and District Coordination Committee President Methur Chaudhary, among others, were seen playing cards in the open ground of Manusmara Base Camp.

Locals accuse the security officials here of colluding with smugglers and making a quick bucks out of this nexus and of being emboldened by lack of action.

"On the one hand, organising such feasts by using the lucre made by smuggling has apparently promoted smuggling.

On the other, playing cards in the open has served to increase social ill, which is unfortunate," said Ram Naresh Singh of Balara Municipality, asking how could people responsible for controlling gambling and crimes in society themselves indulge in gambling openly.

As per sources, the home ministry has sought clarification from CDO Mahato after he was featured playing cards in the leaked videos and photos. District Police Office Chief SP Rathaur is said to be on leave.

Lokatantrik Samajbadi Party leader Rakesh Mishra asked the government to investigate the shenanigans as revealed by the photos and videos and take action against one and all if they are found guilty.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 24, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.