Mrunal Manmay Dash

The ‘no-extortion’ or ‘Dada Bati Ku Na’ drive by the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Commissionerate Police seems to have fallen flat as the bus owners in Bhubaneswar’s Baramunda Bus Stand continue to fall victim to the extortionists.

As per reports, the bus owners have been facing the menace for years, where some anti-socials collect ‘dada bati’ in the name of protection money from the bus owners. In fact, the bus owners alleged that the extortionists even threaten them if they went to the police to lodge a complaint.

Bhubaneswar Bus Owners Association Secretary, Barada Prasanna Acharya said, “We want action on our complaints and that does not seem to be happening here in Baramunda. We could take a sigh of relief if the police decide to take action against the anti-socials.”

“Some anti-socials collect dada bati regularly from bus owners in Baramunda bus stand. My grievance is that police have not taken any action even after repeated complaints,” said Rajdhani Bus Owners Association Secretary, Tusharkanti Acharya.

It is pertinent to mention here that the police have tasted success to some extent in curbing extortion on roads and during Puja celebrations. It is alleged that the same police have failed poorly in taking exemplary action against extortionists in Baramunda Bus Stand.

“We have been saying ‘No to Dada Bati’ for long. We will take strict action against miscreants whenever we get complaints. I have even conveyed this message in the puja meeting in Cuttack. We have a zero-tolerance policy for the same,” said Commissioner of Police, Saumendra Priyadarshi.

In October last year, the Bhadrak Bus Syndicate had halted bus services in the district alleging police inaction over extortion by miscreants on the pretext of Durga Puja.

The bus syndicate had many times in the past complained about extortion of money (Dada Bati) by some local miscreants on the pretext of Durga Puja donations. They alleged that not only extortion, but the miscreants have gone on to the extent of manhandling the drivers and conductors after being denied.

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