Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Even as Odisha keeps recording the ever-rising cases of missing children and sexual violence against women and children, the State slips up in utilising the technology of the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System) to combat the growing menace.

A reality check shows Odisha is yet to digitise all the database on crime and criminals in the State under this Central government project. The State not only fared poor in uploading the photos of missing children, but also in integrating the sex offender database into the CCTNS.

However, it’s another matter that Odisha scored nearly 84 per cent marks in the month ending in October this year in the overall implementation of CCTNS nationally. But Odisha failed to make it to the toppers’ league. The State has to contend at the 15th slot among the major 19 states in the country. Seems Odisha still has miles to go.

Where Odisha Falters?

A) An analysis of the CCTNS scorecard makes it amply clear that Odisha could upload only 50 per cent of the photographs of missing persons/children in the Core Application Software of CCTNS.

This is so when the ground situation is very grim. Odisha held the dubious distinction of having the poorest recovery rate of missing children in the country in 2019.  Of every 100 children went missing last year in the State, only 26 were the fortunate ones to get retrieved. And the saga continued.

A sample of the grim numbers for the last week underlines the rot. Odisha saw three missing children cases last week. The State police could only trace a dead body in a solitary case. The tracing rate for the last week then boils down to mere33 per cent.

B) Rapes in Odisha in 2020: Crime against women are on the rise. The number of rapes in the first half of this year has posted an 8 per cent rise vis-à-vis the Triennium Average (TA) – means average rape cases for the last three years.

Preparing and integrating the sex offender database in CCTNS could work wonders. But the State failed to do the needful. Sources said the State has yet to formulate a database of sex offenders in the State.

C) Pre-empting Crime: Antecedent verification plays a cardinal role in preventing occurrence of crimes. The record in this vital parameter seems nothing enthusing. In the disposal of complaints/ NOC/antecedent verification, Odisha could score a mere 57 per cent disposal rate, though the national average hovered between 90-100 per cent.

Odisha Polices’s Take

“In CCTNS compliances, Odisha has posted an improved performance this year. The State scored high in terms of infrastructure and manpower required for implementation of the project. Of the 620 police stations in the state, 618 are connected to the system. The CCNTS hardware and software have been deployed in 618 police stations. Though every police station has been directed to upload photos of missing  children, we will analyse the reasons why only 51 per cent are uploaded,” explained Vinaytosh Mishra , Director Odisha Crime Records Bureau.

Regarding bringing up database on sex offenders, Mishra said, “The State police is working out on a complete database. We hope to implement this soon.”

How CCTNS Could Be A Panacea to Odisha’s Ill?

When police of a State upload photo or crime details of a missing child/person or a criminal/sex offender into the CCTNS software, law enforcement authorities at other places within a state or outside can get alerted. And this will help in identifying missing children or apprehending a criminal, explained RanjanMohanty, child right activist.

He also added that an Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) has been sponsored by Union Home Ministry, which will help the law enforcement agencies in the country to detect the criminals, missing persons/children and the unidentified dead bodies in a scientific and speedy manner.

In this backdrop, Odisha would come a cropper if the State fails to upload the photos of all missing children and not integrating the sex offender database to the system, he rued.

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