Pradeep Pattanayak

If the recently released report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is anything to go by, two persons are being abducted in Odisha every three hours!

Three years have passed since two-year-old Pihu of Jajpur’s Binjharpur was allegedly kidnapped. But there is no information about her whereabouts. This case is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many such kidnapped and missing people including children whose whereabouts are yet to be ascertained.  

As per the report, as many as 5,875 people were kidnapped in 2022. It implies that 13 people in every 1 lakh have fallen victim to kidnapping. In Odisha, 5,625 kidnap cases were registered in 2021. The figure went up to 5,854 in 2022, registering a four percent hike. 

What is worrisome is that of the kidnapped persons, 5,627 were below 18 years old, and out of them, 5,137 were minor girls. 

However, by the end of 2022, only 113 persons were rescued. 

According to former police officials, in reality, the actual number is much more than what is shown in the NCRB report. Some cases are not being reported because people are not filing cases as they have lost faith in the police. 

Also Read: Odisha: Missing man’s body found with eyes gouged out, opened abdomen; organ trafficking suspected

“People don’t have faith in the police. So the government now must develop the confidence among people,” said Sarat Sahu, a former police official.
Similarly, 18,587 people went missing in 2022. It implies that on average 51 people went missing every day. Of them, 14,070 are women, including 7,565 minors.
“The number of girls going missing is way more than that of others. It is because kidnappers engage them as domestic help, in begging, or in prostitution. If we are not able to protect our children, how can we say that they are our future,” observed Namrata Chadha, a social worker.

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