Miscreants on the prowl, Bhubaneswar nights unsafe

Spike in crimes being attributed to lack of monitoring and surveillance on criminal elements which use slums as hideouts

Published: 06th November 2021 08:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th November 2021 08:37 AM   |  A+A-

Image of Odisha police personnel used for representational purpose

Odisha police (Image used for representation only) (File Photo | Biswanath Swain, EPS)

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR :  On the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday, three youths riding triple on a bike - also reportedly in an inebriated state - crashed right in front of Nayapalli police station. Loudly hurling abuses, the three came from Indradhanu Market side, before they took a left turn towards the police station where they met with the accident.

“An officer who was standing outside the police station went to check on them. They stood up on their own and were blabbering. Instead of taking them to task for roaming during night curfew hours, the officer silently went inside,” said an eye-witness.

“This happens near a police station in the Capital; how safe can one feel on the roads is anyone’s guess. I avoid going to petrol pumps during nights fearing anti-social elements,” said the man who was witness to the incident.

This is a sentiment echoed by many as lawlessness has gradually returned to the streets of the Capital. Miscreants are having a free run with a dip in policing.  Night is the time for the anti-socials, that too when a curfew from 10 pm to 5 am is in place.

Recently, a journalist returning home late in the night encountered three-bike borne youths on the Bomikhal-Sahid Nagar flyover. Brandishing swords and spewing expletives at anyone who passed by, they were after someone. 

The series of recent crimes reported in the City are only an indicator of deteriorating law and order situation.  Last month, the city police registered 279 cases. Of them 52 were cases of robbery which meant almost two such incidents occurred on a daily basis. There were at least six thefts reported every day during this period (175 in total) besides 47 from the houses. Three murder cases were also registered during the month. 

Between January and November 2020, the city police registered 1,684 cases of theft, 330 robbery and 40 of murder which means the numbers of such crimes are on the rise this year. A major reason behind the spike in crimes is attributed to lack of monitoring and surveillance on criminal elements which use slums as hideouts. Police has a ‘Basti Ku Chala’ initiative but it has proved little effective as peddling of illegal drugs and alcohol is rampant.

There is also clear lack of intent on part of police in pinning down usual suspects. The gang which had hogged limelight for a viral video in which its members were seen roaming the streets with weapons in hand is led by one Debi Prasad, a dismissed home guard Aju Jena’s son known for his delinquent ways. Despite the bad press police received for the video, Debi is yet to be arrested.

“Clandestine running of bars during curfew hours, easy availability of alcohol along with fast food in the night are rampant. PCR vehicle personnel are aware of these but cannot act tough against them unless senior officers of police stations patrol the city roads till late hours,” said an officer. On October 26 night, a woman was 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.

October crime file 

Total Criminal Cases registered    279
Thefts                                            175
Murders                                       Three


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