They have always been 'criminal-catchers'. But now, Bihar's policemen are turning expert matchmakers as well.
The state's crime graph may have witnessed a sharp decline in recent times - as claimed by none other than Chief Minister Nitish Kumar - but that has not taken the load off the police.
In fact, they are often busy with another equally challenging responsibility - help lovers torn apart by family opposition get married.
On November 25, the policemen at Khajekalan in Patna solemnised the wedding of such a couple on the station premises. Alka and Akash Bharati had faced strong opposition from their families because they belonged to different castes.
Alka, a resident of Bela in Gaya district, reached Akash's home in the Lodi Katra locality of Patna on Wednesday. She had run away from home. She told Akash's family she would kill herself if anyone tried to play villain in her love story.
Sensing the threat was not an empty one, Akash's family took her to the police station. Alka told the police she and Akash had been in love for more than two years and wanted to get married.
The daughter of a railway employee, Alka was Akash's neighbour before her father was transferred to Gaya. The couple fell in love and remained in touch even after Alka left for Gaya.
When Alka repeated her suicide threat before station house officer Vinod Kumar, the police called Akash.
He supported Alka. The police then verified their certificates - to confirm their age - and advised them to go for court marriage with the consent of their families.
But probably fearing opposition outside the station premises, the couple said they wanted to get married immediately.
Their wish was granted and they were taken to a nearby temple for the ceremony.
Instead of family members, the couple sought blessings from the police for a happy future.
This is not an isolated example of police turning marriage pandits in Bihar. Recently, about eight weddings have been arranged by the men in khaki in different parts of Bihar.
On October 13, the Gardanibagh police helped a teenager, Pallavi Sinha, marry her boyfriend Prem Kumar. Once again, caste difference and financial status had turned their parents against the match. In this case, the local police didn't stop with the wedding.
They went ahead and hosted a reception at the police station.
The Malsalami police had helped Rakesh and his longtime girlfriend, Jyoti Kumari, unite on August 12, 2008.
Jyoti's family was dead against her marrying an illiterate auto- rickshaw driver, but the police obviously found such parental concerns unnecessary.
On April 8, 2008, a woman constable Vidya Devi from Agamkuan police station got 22-year-old Radha married to Ram Lalit Kotwal amid much fanfare. Radha had been abandoned by her family for falling in love with Kotwal.
Though the Bihar Police are flooded with complaints of young girls being abducted, a majority of them turn out to be cases of elopement. In 2008 alone, 214 abduction cases were found to be false.