Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Due to effective policing, the overall law & order and crime rate in Odisha has remained under control, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Odisha Assembly today in response to the adjournment motion moved by the Opposition citing rise in crime against women.

Patnaik informed the house that heinous cases of crime against women are being treated as 'Red Flag cases' since 2014. 943 cases have been treated as Red Flag cases till date while conviction rate in such cases has also gone up.

"Due to proactive action, cases of human trafficking have seen a sharp decline of 47.6% in last one year and efforts under Operation Muskaan and Operation Smile has been appreciated by the Ministry of Home Affairs," said Patnaik.

8,118 children including 1,022 girls have been rescued in five such operations by Odisha Police, he informed.

Besides, enactment of Odisha Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, 2013 has been a successful step and measures are also being taken for speedy investigation and medical treatment of acid attack victims, said Patnaik.

"Police authorities have been directed to take stern action in crime against women and children like outraging of modesty, molestation, eve teasing, acid attack and sexual harassment," Patnaik told the Assembly.

Counseling centres for victims have been set up in six districts and compensation is provided under the Odisha Victim Compensation Scheme. An amount of Rs 3.10 crore has been placed at the disposal of the State Legal Authority for the purpose, he added.

Government chief whip Amar Satpathy also claimed that conviction rate in crimes against women has improved.

However, opposition parties including BJP and Congress slammed Odisha government for failing to check crime against women including rapes and incidents where videos of various abuses are being uploaded on to social media.

"The incidents of minor girls being raped and murdered is increasing and speaks volumes about the crime rate in Odisha," said Opposition chief whip and Congress leader Taraprasad Bahinipati.

Bahinipati further alleged that women and girls are not safe in the State as well as country. Both the State & the Central governments have failed to provide security to the women.

"Everybody is aware of the situation as rape cases are on a rise in Odisha. We do not accept the way Odisha Chief Minister read out a handwritten note in Assembly," BJP MLA, Radharani Panda.

As per the statistics of the Odisha government, six women are being raped every day while conviction rate is six persons per year.