Gambling rampant on Kumar Purnima

Berhampur: Big-time gambling is back in Ganjam district with people geared up for unbriddled gambling on the occasion of Kumar Purnima today though it will invite police action.

While Mahalaxmi, the Goddess of wealth, is worshiped during day time, gambling dominates the festive night. People from all sections of society gamble on this day. Regardless of change in fortune, most of the residents try their luck at the game.

Even parents ask their children to gamble on the festival. “Many people believe Laxmi can be invoked only through gambling on this occasion. Children go for gambling wearing new clothes”, said a retired professor of Berhampur University.

But those who plan to gamble in the open will invite police action. “We can’t allow gambling in the name of tradition and have instructed police officers accordingly”, Ganjam superintendent of police Narasingh Bhoi said.

“Gambling is probhited under the law. It also goes hand in hand with liquor consumption, which leads to law and order problems and family disturbances”, Berhampur superintendent of police Sarthak Sarangi said.

Besides crimes like murders and group clashes are common over gambling, the police said.

Gambling takes place from Dusshera to Diwali at different places in the state.

During the last ten days, the police have arrested around 500 people in both Berhampur and Ganjam police districts and seized about Rs 20 lakh during raids, they said.