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Mrunal Manmay Dash

The incidents of pickpockets have suddenly risen in the public transport system in Bhubaneswar. In the latest instance, the pickpockets allegedly looted Rs 15,000 from a cancer patient while he was travelling from Baramunda in Bhubaneswar to Cuttack in ‘Mo Bus’ for treatment.

The victim, Ananda Gouda, a native of Purushottampur in Ganjam arrived at Baramunda bus stand on Wednesday morning and boarded a ‘Mo Bus’ (19) for Cuttack to visit a cancer hospital for treatment.

However, as per the allegations, a pickpocket looted Rs 15,000 he was carrying in his pocket between Acharya Vihar and Vani Vihar square. Gouda immediately alerted the ‘Mo Bus’ guide who stopped the bus at Rasulgarh square and informed the police.

Speaking to OTV, Gouda said, “I am suffering from bone cancer. I have come here for my regular checkup and to purchase medicines for the next two months. Unfortunately, the miscreant took all my money and I am left with nothing.”

The guide of the bus said, “The old man said he lost his money in this bus. So I halted the bus and informed the police. They will probe the matter now.”

The police released the bus and asked the complainant to lodge an FIR at the police station. While some passengers of the same bus expressed displeasure at the Police’ indifference, the SPO of the Police van, Laxmidhar Mallick said, “There are many passengers who boarded and deboarded the bus between Acharya Vihar and Rasulgarh. There is no point in frisking all the passengers one by one. I released the bus after the IIC instructed me to tell the complainant to lodge a complaint at the police station.”

The incidents of pickpockets are on a rise in Bhubaneswar. Despite the police claiming to have kept things under control the recent spike in the pickpockets in ‘Mo Bus’ has kept the commuters on toes.

Miscreants had looted at least two mobile phones from the passengers of Mo Bus in Bhubaneswar last Friday. Though police took action after getting information, the looters could not be nabbed.

A frustrated passenger said, “This type of stealing is happening almost every day and now, people are fearing to board Mo Bus.

"There are CCTVs installed in the buses but such incidents continue to happen. The authorities concerned should take the matter seriously in the interest of the passengers."

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