Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: For Odisha, the year 2020 scripted a tale of unending struggles, sacrifices and miseries in the wake of once-in-a-century pandemic, but in the midst of them all, crimes also seemed not to let the State sleep in peace.

As per the data available with the government, the State was a shocked spectator to at least 8 rapes and 4 murders a day even though it remained for much of the year under the curbs of lockdown and its after impact.

Minister of State for Home Affairs in Odisha, Dibya Shankar Mishra, while replying to a question in the State Assembly, has informed that the State reported a whopping 2984 rapes in 2020 which means that 8 women fell prey to the scourge of rapists every day.

As compared to 2019, the rate of crimes against women has considerably increased in the State in 2020. Even the recently released NCRB report also corroborates the fact saying how Odisha has earned the grim milestone of coming second in the list of States with maximum harassment cases against women.

Mishra's shocking statement has spurred the opposition parties to action who took no time to target the government over the deteriorating law and order situation in the State.

Chief Whip of the Opposition Party in the State Assembly, Mohan Majhi alleged that the law and order situation has now slipped from the control of the BJD government. The safety and security of people have become a major concern due to the inefficiency of the State government.

Senior Congress MLA Santosh Saluja also reiterated such claims and said that the government has failed to utilise the State Police while the Home Affairs is also not under its control.

However, government chief whip Pramila Mallick launched a counter attack against the Opposition. "They have a habit of creating an issue out of nothing so, their allegations are worthless. I urge them to discuss the matter with us," she said.

The Minister further informed that not only rapes, the State also witnessed 1470 murders this year which means 4 such cases a day. Most notably among the cases include the sensational Mahanga double murder, Nayagarh minor girl Pari’s murder case and others.

Meanwhile, cyber crimes have also witnessed a sharp spike this year. In Odisha, cyber crime related incidents surged by around 23.6 per cent between 2019 and 2020.

State Capital Bhubaneswar was probably the hardest hit due to the prowl of cyber criminals. In the space of just two months – January and February 2021, people lost over Rs 1 crore to cyber fraudsters. A total of Rs 2.5 crore has been duped by cyber criminals in the State during the same period.