Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Crime Branch (CB) issued an advisory to all SPs, DIGs and the Commissionerate Police (CP) today asking them to ensure safety and security of witnesses in various cases during trails in courts.
In a 15-point circular, the CB has directed the police officials to provide protection to witnesses if there is any threat to their lives. It has also instructed police officials to provide assistance and logistics support to witnesses in attending court on the date of the trial.
Besides, police personnel should also ensure that no interaction takes place between the accused and the witness, if the witness himself/herself is a victim. Police officers have also been instructed to arrange separate transportation for victims and accused while taking them for medical examinations and ensure that the medical examination of the duo is conducted separately.
The circular also stressed on establishment of rest sheds and counseling centres for the witnesses.
Besides, awareness programmes will be held for witnesses on their protection and to encourage them to depose evidence in court without any fear. The Crime Branch has sought a special team of police officers at the district level, who will be deployed to monitor day-to-day court proceedings in criminal cases.
The investigating agency has also issued directions to book culprits under Section-195 (A) of IPC if they are found threatening witnesses.