Pradeep Pattanayak

If Capital city of Odisha is called a ‘City of Fraudsters’ it wouldn’t be an exaggeration, given the present state of affairs.

Why? Go on reading.

As per the data compiled by the Bhubaneswar Commissionerate Police, as many as 791 gullible Capital city residents fell to prey to conmen in the last 11 months of this year. Of them, the Badagad police station registered a maximum of 91 cases, followed by Khandagiri police station (79 cases), Chandrasekharpur police station (61 cases), Capital police station (55 cases) and Laxmisagar police station (54 cases).

In comparison with the above mentioned police stations, Mahila police station and Balipatna police station emerged safer in terms of the registration of 420 (cheating) cases. There were five and eight such cases respectively.

Meanwhile, what has emerged as a great cause of concern is the fact that the police were able to investigate only 254 cases out of the total 791 ones. It transpires that in 68 percent cases, the investigation is still on.

When asked what cinsequences will the delay in investigation have, retired police officer Sarat Sahu said, “Case detection will result in case prevention. A suspect should be arrested and produced in a court. But if it gets delayed in submitting case diary and charge sheet, s/he will be out on bail and then will again commit crime.”

Interestingly, women were found to be involved in these 420 cases. In the 791 cases, while the number of male accused was 177, that of the female accused was 4.

An analysis of the cases revealed that people were duped of crores of rupees in buying and selling lands, flats and vehicles.

Here are some prominent cases to drive home the point: 

Trupty Ranjan Das swindled people by putting an advertisement on OLX, luring them by offering schemes to own vehicles. As many as 47 cases are pending against him at different police stations.

For duping people of lakhs of rupees, the police had arrested managing director of Maa Tarini Estcon Private Limited of Sahidnagar. He has 10 cases pending against him at Balianta and Badagad police stations.

The police had arrested Meena Nayak, an assistant branch manager of a bank in Bharatpur area in connection with a fraud to the tune of over Rs1,16,00,000. 

When asked why cases are on the rise, advocate Bana Bihari Mohanty said, “The offenders have been able to avoid arrest. In most cases, police fail to establish their involvement in cases, they fail to submit charge sheet properly. This is why accused don’t have any fear of court and punishment.”

With a view to put a check on cheating cases, a few months ago the Commissionerate Police had launched an ‘Anti-Fraud Cell’. This cell analysed 187 cases and, at the same time, helped to complete the investigation of 73 cases by December 21.

DCP Umashankar Dash had earlier said the police would resort to stricter strategies to control the 420 cases along with robbery and housebreaking cases that are showing an upward trend.

“Emphasis will be given to make the officers more efficient so that detection and recovery will improve. If there is any deficiency in our performance, we will get them rectify in coming days,” Dash had stated.