Berhampur: A paradise for anti-socials

Berhampur: Gangsters and criminals in the Silk City never had such a good time. The men with arms have literally reddened the city especially in the last ten months. While the khaki personnel in charge of maintaining law and order preferred to look the other way expressing helplessness. For, about 40 heinous crimes have taken place in the city in the last 300 days. The incidents included six murders, a dozen incidents of bombing and 15 cases of loot and dacoity. Even criminals on bail are having a field day. It is absolute free for all.

While the legal fraternity question the expertise of the police in filing watertight chargesheets against the anti-socials, the police argues that the criminal-lawyer combo exploits loopholes in the legal system and escape punishment. And amid that war of words suffer the commonmen and citizens of the city.

Everything in uncertain. No one knows when and where the miscreants will strike. Pistols and guns may roar, bombs may fall and anybody can be looted. At any moment in 24 hours. In a similar chaoitic situation way back in 1983, Berhampur city was declared as a special criminal zone and a superintendent of police was appointed for crime control. The city SP has jurisdiction over seven police stations including one Mahila police station and the Sadar police station. The city dwellers and lawyers put the blame squarely on the police for an ever deteriorating law and order in the city alone.

A local resident Jagannath Padhy said that the city police has a sort of accepted defeat and does not have the will to act against the miscreants. While lawyer Rajendra Sahoo said that the police lacks professionalism. The police, Sahu added submit very weak charge sheets for which the criminals are able to get relief from the courts.

The crime graph has gone upwardly in a most bizzare manner. In the last ten months, the city has witnessed six murders, 12 bombardments, four shoot outs and 16 dacoities. And the police has failed miserably to crack the cases. To hide its failure, the police on the other hand says that the criminals take advantage of the loopholes in the criminal system and the lengthy process to convict criminals. Subhas Chandra Acharya, DSP, Crime, says that there are too many gaps and loose-ends in our criminal justice system and the anti-socials take full advantage of the shortcomings. Subhas also says that the public must cooperate with the police to control crime and convict the criminals.

Be that as it may, it is the common men in Berhampur who have to spend their days amidst fear and uncertainty.