Odisha police need to correct this dubious rank of the State. Since 2017, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has been ranking Odisha at number 2 in dacoity cases in the country after Maharashtra.
As per the NCRB 2020 report released recently, with a total of 307 dacoity incidences, Odisha had been ranked below Maharashtra (473 cases).
However, what needs a big mentioning here is, as per the White Paper on crime scenario in Odisha that was tabled in the State Assembly earlier this year had put the total dacoity incidents in the State in 2020 at 514, over 15 per cent higher than 2019.
NCRB Data On Dacoity
However, according to the NCRB reports since 2017, the year-wise dacoity incidence is given below.
• 2017 --- 534
• 2018 --- 558
• 2019 --- 446
• 2020 --- 307
• 2020 --- 514 (White Paper Laid In Odisha Assembly)
The White Paper data on dacoity in 2019 matched with NCRB. The Paper had also maintained that cases in 2020 were up by 15 percent.
On contrary, NCRB 2020 report measured a sharp fall in dacoity cases in Odisha.
Why Banditry On Rise?
The White Paper tabled in the State Assembly itself has explained the reasons behind high dacoity incidences in State.
The Paper maintained that of the 514 cases, charge sheets have been filed in only around 50 per cent of the dacoity incidents.
As per highly placed sources, the property plundered by dacoits totalled around Rs 119 crore. Moreover, with only a 50 per cent charge-sheeting rate, the recovery rate in the State also stood very low (around 28 per cent).
Banditry Or Organised Criminal Gangs?
"This is no banditry in Odisha. Rather, it's a module of organised criminals and looters' gang, who are at work in the State. Given that the number of gang members involved in the organised plunder of property stood at around 7-8, the incidents are defined as dacoity, " observed a senior IPS officer at the State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB).
The Hunting Grounds
As per the data of dacoity gangs busted in Odisha over the years, records show the organised gangs have a presence across the length and breadth of the State - from western, coastal to central regions. Besides, the operation of inter-state dacoit gangs in the State has also been confirmed.
The footprints of dacoit gangs in Odisha are seen from Delang (Puri district), Redhakhol (Sambalpur) to Polasara (Ganjam) and from Capital Bhubaneswar to steel city Rourkela.