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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

To combat the growing menace of online frauds and cyber crimes, the Odisha government set up 11 new cybercrime and economic offences (CC&EO) police stations across the State. However, questions have been raised over the effective functioning of these stations which are struggling with lack of proper infrastructure and trained manpower.

The Home Department has sanctioned 154 official and 90 cyber expert posts for these newly set up police stations, but all the appointments have not happened so far. Low manpower resources apart, lack of proper infrastructure and trained hands for CC&EO police stations that require specific technical skills have emerged as the other major challenges.

Take the case of the newly set up cyber police station at Kafla Bazar in Cuttack. An OIC, two sub-inspectors and five constables have been appointed at the police station so far. However, the station is yet to be fully functional as no other employee, except the OIC, has been imparted the required training by cyber experts so far.

The situation is even worse in the recently established cyber station at the DCP campus in the Capital city of Bhubaneswar. Only one officer has been appointed so far and the police station lacks proper infrastructure.

However, Police Commissioner Saumendra Priyadarshi asserted that proper infrastructure and manpower are not going to be the impediments in future.

“This is just the beginning. The cyber police stations have just started functioning and these units will be streamlined to be fully functional in near future,” said Priyadarshi.

Moreover, another cyber police station was virtually inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Koraput on December 9. But the station is yet to start functioning as the officials and experts are yet to be appointed. On the other hand, most of the employees at the Cyber police station in Mayurbhanj have been appointed, but the unit has no separate building and is functioning within the office of the district SP.

“Land has been identified for the Cyber police station in the city and construction of the building will commence soon,” said Mayurbhanj SP Rishikesh Khilari.

Meanwhile, former police officials have expressed their dissatisfaction over the development.

“The State government should have made full preparations at least six months prior to the inauguration of the Cyber police stations,” said former police DGP Sanjeev Marik.

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