BHUBANESWAR: Law and order in Odisha capital Bhubaneswar is slipping and how! A working woman was recently harassed, humiliated and assaulted in full public glare, only metres away from Mancheswar Police Station but the cops remained blissfully unaware.
A couple of days later, video of criminals roaming the streets with weapons went viral. And police is yet to round up most of them. All this has happened after the sensational murder of Manish Anurag which had exposed how Commissionerate Police was caught napping.
Bars have been found functioning in violation of curfew hours across the City, robberies have been on the rise, a spate of murders has been reported from the City while local police stations are turning a blind eye to major flouting of rules. On the top of it all, police bosses are mum while public feels unsafe.
Last week, a woman employed with an apparel manufacturing firm was allegedly thrashed and sexually harassed by a motorist near Rasulgarh Square, hardly metres away from Mancheswar police station after she confronted him for passing lewd comments. Passersby saw but no one reacted. She was chased and abused.
Not just a common man, even government officials have been the victims of crimes in recent months. In October, IAS officer Manish Agarwal lodged a police complaint alleging theft of household articles including his laptop and a camera from his government quarters in Unit-9 when he and his family members were away from their residence.
What has come as a massive embarrassment is the viral video of over two dozen anti-socials brandishing sharp weapons and a gun, driving an SUV and reportedly dancing on the middle of the roads in the Capital City on the background music of Ram Gopal Varma’s 2010 political thriller Rakht Charitra which has raised serious questions about law and order situation in the City.
The State Capital has witnessed a sharp rise in murder cases. Between January and June, 26 murders have been reported this year.The incidents of molestation and sexual harassment have also witnessed a rise in the City.
As per the Home Department's data, 71 molestation incidents were reported in Capital in 2019, 149 in 2020 and 81 in the first six months of this year. Similarly, 35 sexual harassment cases have been reported till June as against 39 in 2019 and 49 in 2020.
Twin City Police Commissioner SK Priyadarsi said police have taken cognisance of the viral video. "A probe has been launched to ascertain where and when was the video shot," he told The New Indian Express. If some of the clips were recorded recently, then it is a major cause of concern for the police as night curfew is in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Three of the youths - Jibitesh Patra, Suman Kumar Parida and Narendra Kumar - seen in the viral video were apprehended for attacking two persons on October 21 with sharp weapons near CRPF Square.Meanwhile, a graphic designer allegedly attacked a woman and her mother at their house in Sailashree Vihar on Monday afternoon. The youth, Rupesh Panda, is neighbour of the two victims and went to their house in the guise of a woman. He reportedly stabbed the mother-daughter duo with a knife.
He also sustained injuries possibly when the victims confronted him. Police said health condition of Panda and the two women is stated to be stable and exact details behind the incident can be ascertained after probe.