Police trying to tackle gambling in Odisha during festivity

Koraput: With festival season in progres, police are on their toes to deal with gambling which seems to be on in full steam at Jeypore town in Koraput district of Odisha.

Starting from Dussehra to Diwali, every year people indulge in gambling in this part of the state.

Such is the craze that street corners have turned into gambling dens. These points are usually managed by children and the games include dice and cards among others. While a few indulge in gambling to make merry, some opt for it to earn a fast buck.

Locals said gambling during the festive period, especialy on Kumar Purnima, is a tradition.

As Laxmi is worshipped on the day of Kumar Purnima, there is a belief that one, who does not gamble during this time, is destined to be reborn as an owl (a mount associated with the goddess) in the next birth.

The stakes are high. Several save money the whole year for gambling.

Even schoolkids and homemakers jump on the bandwwagon.

While luck smiles on a few, the rest lose all their savings.

Police claimed they have intensified raids on clandestine gambling dens in and around Jeypore.

“In past one week we have conducted raids on several gambling dens dens and arrested many people. Our raid is continuing”, said Inspector In-Charge (IIC) of Jeypore police station Tapan Kumar Rath.

It is alleged that the police raid on the gambling dens is just the tip of the iceberg. Police prefer to turn a blind eye except when gambling becomes threat to law and order, said locals.

“It is difficult to completely contain gambling during this season when people in the name of tradition provide money to their children to gamble at their friends’ homes.

However, we are keeping a strict vigil on gambling dens, which are being professionally managed,” said a senior police official of Jeypore.