Rashmi Ranjan

At a time when the Odisha government is blowing its trumpet about women empowerment, the recently published National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report has revealed some startling facts which tell a different story altogether.

In the freshly released NCRB data, Odisha ranks fourth spot in the list of missing women with as many as 35,981 missing cases registered till 2021. 

Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and West Bengal are at the top three positions in the list respectively. As per the NCRB data, of the total 35,981 missing cases reported, 16,608 victims have been rescued or identified, while 19,175 victims are yet to be traced.

The rescue rate is significantly low in Odisha as compared to the national figure. While the missing women rescue rate is 56.2 percent at the national level, the rate is just 46.7 percent in Odisha.

Moreover, Odisha also ranks quite high on the list of trafficking of minor girls.

While the rescue rate of minor girls belonging to backward classes is 65.5 percent at the national level, it is 61.6 percent for Odisha, the NCRB data revealed.

Besides, when it comes to human trafficking, Odisha ranks as one of the worst States in the Country with a 70.4 percent charge sheet filing rate as against the national figure of 84.7 percent, the report revealed.

The NCRB data has raised concerns over women safety in the State.

“This is organised crime. Though there is a special law for this, people are yet to be aware of what trafficking is,” said Rutuparna Mohanty, a social activist.

Another social worker, Jayashree Mohapatra said, “The middlemen are on the prowl on bordering areas of West Bengal. It is the responsibility of the Odisha government to be more vigilant.”

Raising concerns over the numbers, Sarat Sahoo, a former police officer said, “The government should launch a special drive to bring down the numbers and rescue the missing women.”

Earlier on March 20, Odisha Minister of State (Home), Tusharkanti Behera had admitted in the Assembly that 26,247 women and 3,791 minor girls are yet to be traced.

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