Bhubaneswar: The Covid-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on Odisha's economy. Due to an alarming increase in unemployment, many people resorted to criminal activities to make ends meet. As a result crimes in the State spiked ever since authorities began enforcing pandemic induced lockdowns and shutdowns.
However, the number of accidents came down as most people were forced to stay indoors during the lockdown and shutdown periods, reducing vehicular traffic and the resultant accidents on roads.
According to the State government Home department's standing committee report, a total of 1,34,230 cognizable offences including 1470 murder, 514 dacoity, 2166 robbey, 4500 burglary, 10412 theft, 3524 swindling, 2059 rioting and 2984 rape cases were reported in 2020. The pandemic ravaged year witnessed over 10 per cent increase in the crime rate than those reported in the previous year (2019).
However, the number of casualties in road accidents in the State came down by 65 per cent during the lockdown period-- from March 14 to May 31-- last year. Moreover, the State reported only 9,817 numbers of road accidents during the whole year.
The Odisha Police made a record seizure of 1374 quintals of ganja and 34 kilograms of brown sugar last year. As many as 1800 drug peddlers were arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in this connection. The seizure quantity was more than last 10 years of cumulative seizure.
During 2020-21, more than 20,000 acres of cannabis cultivation had been destroyed which is also a national record.