Bihar’s NDA government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has instructed district police officers to gather details on the functionaries and office-bearers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) along with those of other associate Sangh outfits. The RSS is the ideological parent of the BJP, which is a partner with Mr. Kumar’s JD(U) in the State’s ruling coalition.In a letter issued by the Superintendent of Police (SP) of the Special Branch of the Bihar police on May 28, the SP has asked all the branch’s district Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) to gather details on the functionaries and office-bearers of the RSS and its 18-associate organisations. Mr. Kumar, who holds the Home portfolio, had in 2016 — when the JD(U) was allied with the RJD and a member of the mahagathbandhan — called for a “Sangh-mukt Bharat (RSS free India)” which had invited sharp reactions from the State BJP leaders. The JD(U) also decided in May to refrain from joining Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second NDA government as their “proportional representation” offer was not met by the BJP.The Special Branch SP’s letter has now gone viral on social media.“Gather all details including names, addresses, telephone numbers and business associations of all office-bearers (presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries, treasurers, joint secretaries or others, if any) of the RSS and its following associate organizations within a week,” the SP wrote. The 18 associate Sangh outfits named in the letter are the Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Jagaran Samiti, Dharm Jagaran Samanvay Samiti, Hindu Rashtra Sena, Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, Shiksha Bharti, Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Durga Vahini, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Bharatiya Rail Sangh, ABVP, Akhil Bharatiya Shikshak Mahasangh, Hindu Mahasabha, Hindu Yuva Vahini and the Hindu Putra Sangh. “This must be taken as very important,” the officer wrote, with another senior police official appending his comments on the letter on June 3: “Please comply immediately”.While police officials contacted by The Hindu declined to comment on the letter, an officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, asserted “it’s a routine activity which the Special Branch officials do at regular intervals”.Leaders of the State BJP and the JD(U) too declined comment on the issue. “It’s a sensitive issue and needs to be addressed at a higher level of the party,” said a BJP official, speaking on condition of anonymity.Opposition RJD and Congress leaders were quick to see the letter as vindication that all was not well in the State’s ruling alliance.“Nitish Kumar has not only been sidelined but been bullied by the BJP’s top leadership after the Lok Sabha poll result,” asserted State Congress leader and MLC Prem Chandra Mishra. “He is not feeling comfortable at all in the alliance and so making his plans to retaliate,” Mr. Mishra added.