Pradeep Pattanayak

With the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) placing Odisha in the third position in crime against women only next to Assam and Delhi, state units of both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have started cornering the ruling BJD-led government in the state. 

The crime rate per 1 lakh women was 112.9 in 2020. In 2021, it rose to 137.8. In their reactions after the report was published, the BJP and Congress have trained their guns at the government over the deteriorating law and order situation in the State. 

“From the recently published report, it is clear that crimes against women are on the rise here in the state. And the government has not come up with any concrete ‘yojana’ to arrest the trend,” rued BJP MLA Mohan Charan Majhi. 

Taking a dig at the government, Congress MLA Rajan Ekka said, “The state is showing respect to women in such a way that crime against them has increased by 23 percent. Considering a state which is referred to as Jagannath dham, the increasing rate of crime against women is unfortunate.”

On the other hand, in his reaction, BJD MLA Amar Satpathy spoke highly of the transparency in the system. 
“It is the transparency in the system due to which the real facts are coming to the fore.  Our government is taking steps to minimize the number of crimes against women,” said Satpathy. 

Odisha is placed at the top of the list with respect to assault with the intent to outrage the modesty with 14,891 victims in 2021.  

Similarly, cases of sexual assault, abduction, torture by husbands and relatives have also witnessed a rise. 1,456 cases of rape, 12 cases of rape and murder, 5,175 cases of abduction and 4,889 cases of torture by husbands and relatives were registered In 2021.

At the same time, the State is in sixth position in dowry-related murder cases with 293 such cases.   

Taking strong exception to the State’s position in crime against women, social activist Jayashree Mohapatra said it is sad to know that our State is ahead of other States in these fields. “To check the trend, women should be careful about this. But, it is the government who should be more cautious,” Mohapatra said. 

Former police DG Sanjeev Marik said, “As cases against women are increasing, there should be more seriousness and activeness while handling the cases against women. Besides, there should be a special court to deal with the crimes against women where within a year or six months these cases could be disposed off.”

“Most importantly, the society should also rise to put an end to the trend,” Marik added.

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