Vikash Sharma

‘Police taking commissions’ Though such allegations are not new, but it assumes significance when such statements are made by none other than Odisha Minister of State (Home), Tusharkanti Behera.

While addressing a programme organised by CLAP in Bhubaneswar on victim compensation, Behera made such explosive statements.

While citing the cases in categories of dowry, SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in his constituency, Behera said that "nearly 70 percent of SC, ST atrocity cases are politically driven. Such cases reach police station through sarpanch and other samiti or zilla parishad members. Both lawyers and police officials take commission in atrocity cases. SC, ST atrocity cases are being used to implicate others."

Terming it purely personal views, Behera said, “In some cases false narrative is being created. If the victim is a SC or ST, they are becoming a tool. Some lawyers demand money from the victims to ensure that the case is established following an inquiry by SDPO. Usually the compensation is released to the victim if the allegations are found to be true following investigation by the SDPO."

Behera further said that "Victims are unaware of the government scheme. Victim, against whom some objectionable comments are made, are happy even if they gets Rs 50,000 out of the Rs 2 lakh assistance paid by the government. Some of the compensation amount is subsequently shared by police officials and lawyers."

“I urge the legal advisors to fully scrutinise such cases so that they are not influenced by any political pressure as the assistance is released from the government ex-chequer,” said Behera.

(Reported by Kapilendra Pradhan)