Rate of conviction in crimes lowest in Odisha: Cong

Bhubaneswar: Accusing BJD government of using police for political purpose, opposition Congress on Thursday said the rate of conviction in different crimes in the state was the lowest in the country.

"Low rate of conviction in Odisha proves police is being used in other activities for political purposes," Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan said, participating in a debate on an adjournment motion on law and order.

Stating that at least four murders and three rapes were taking place in the state every day on an average, Harichandn said, however, the average rate of conviction was only 14 per cent while 86 per cent of accused got acquitted.

Alleging that the police were tapping telephones of politicians of both the ruling and opposition, he said, the state had purchased interception equipment worth Rs 2 crore.

Justifying his claim, Harichandan said the government had effected reshuffle of IPS officers seven times after the May 29 bid against Naveen Patnaik government.

"It indicated that the senior police officers were working at the behest of some other leader. After taking action against the leaders, Patnaik put in place his favourite officers," the Chief Whip said.

Leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh said while only four districts were struck by Maoist menace when Patnaik had taken over in 2000, the entire state was now affected.

Rejecting opposition allegation, the Chief Minister claimed that law and order situation in Odisha was peaceful and even better than many Congress-ruled ones like Assam and Maharashtra.

"The pro-active security response has resulted in the death of 28 naxalites, arrest of 235 ultras and surrender of as many as 70 maoists in the year 2011 and in the current year so far," Patnaik said claiming that naxal violence in Odisha was less in comparison to neighbouring states.

This apart, Patnaik said a record number of 188 weapons, 305 improvised explosive devices and huge quantity of eplosives and ammunition have been recovered during the years 2011 and 2012 so far.

He said the state govenrment has revised the earlier surrender and rehabilitation scheme for left wing extremists and have made it more attractive to encourage the Maoists to shun violence and join mainstream.