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Rashmi Ranjan

Despite the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown and shutdown, crimes against women in Odisha soared in 2020 as compared to 2019, Minister of State(Home) Captain Dibya Shankar Mishra told the State Assembly on Monday.

In a written reply before the Assembly, the Minister said, as many as 786 minor girl gang rape cases had been registered till June this year as against 1635 in 2019 and 1646 in 2020.

Similarly, 1

563 rape cases including six rape and murder cases were reported till June 2021, the minister informed. A total 9,999 rape and 41 rape and murder cases registered in the last three-and-half-years, he said.

 

On the other hand, 1,34,230 criminal cases had been registered in various police stations across Odisha during 2020 as compared to 1,21,525 cases in 2019. It would mean the crime cases  increased by 10.45 per cent in the State during 2020.

As per Mishra's reply, the a maximum of 7,858 cases were registered in Ganjam district while 1,235 cases in Deogarh district during 2020. The Odisha Crime Branch has registered 149 cased in 2020 whereas 474 and 255 cases were registered by railway Cuttack and railway Rourkela police wings in the same year, respectively.

Similarly, 13,297 cases were registered by the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissionerate in 2020, which is a jump of 272 cases in comparison to the cases lodged in 2019.

As many as 7,024 cases were filed in Angul district, 6591 in Jajpur, 6216 in Sambalpur, 6154 in Puri, 5848 in Mayurbhanj, 5578 in Balasore and 5401 in Bolangir. All other remaining police districts have recorded below 5,000 cases during 2020, as per the statement of the Odisha Home Minister.

Targeting the ruling BJD government over deteriorating law and order situation in the State, the Opposition parties said the government must take necessary action to curb the crime rate.

“The government should be more concerned about the law and order situation in the State and take necessary measures,” said BJP MLA Mukesh Mahaling.
Echoing the similar opinion, senior Congress leader Sura Routray said, “The government should modernise police department and fill vacant posts. Moreover, new police stations and outposts need to be set up in the State.”

Mishra further said 11,456 posts are lying vacant in the Odisha police department, of which 3 are IG posts, 13 DIG, 15 SP and 16 Additional SP posts.

Similarly, 248 inspector, 1327 sub-inspector, 693 ASI, 449 havildar, 3489 constable and 2115 sepoy posts also remain vacant in the state, the Minister added.

During the Question Hour in the Assembly, MLAs across party lines have raised questions related to setting up of new police stations, outposts and police beat houses in their respective areas.

Participating in the discussions, Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra said 60 MLAs had proposed the state government to set up 68 new police stations, 103 police outposts and upgrade three police stations. Although, the Speaker had given a ruling on this, the ruling Biju Janata Dal government is yet to take any steps, he added.

After listening to questions from the Assembly members, Speaker SN Patro has directed the Odisha MoS Home to hold a meeting with DGP, DIG Crime Branch and the Home Secretary on the issue and release a statement.

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