The petroleum dealers’ association of Odisha’s Balasore district has threatened to launch a stir and stop all the patrol pumps across the district in protest against the police inaction to check dacoities and loot.
The association members alleged instead of apprehending the culprits the police have advised them to deploy security guards with gun and install close circuit cameras to protect their filling stations from dacoity.
The accusations from the patrol pump owners came in the wake of a police advisory to the fuel filling stations to check loot and dacoity in the stations.
Recently, the Inspector-in-Charge of Remuna police station had served a notice to the proprietors of Dakhinakali Filing Station at Nuapadhi and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) at Balgopalpur asking them to install CC cameras at their office door and deploy armed security guards.
The police also have advised to record the vehicles’ numbers who are coming for fuel and keep a tab on suspected anti-socials besides asking them not to keep cash in the counter during night.
Criticising police inaction, association’s president and former MLA Arun Dey said it was unwarranted on the part of the police to ask the complainants to make their own arrangements to protect themselves from
criminals and crimes.
“The crimes in the district have increased manifold during the last couple of years. With no patrolling and stringent action against the criminals, the cases of loot, dacoity, robbery and snatching are rampant these days. Some of the police officials are in fact helping the miscreants to commit crimes for a ransom,” he alleged.
Wondering about the requirement of the cops when the complainants are asked to engage private security guards for protection, Dey has demanded an immediate overhauling of police rank and file in the district.
General secretary Pradeep Kumar Das said though unidentified miscreants had unsuccessfully attempted to loot the money on transit from a patrol pump at Khantapara to a bank at Balasore thrice on the same day on Monday in between June 25 to August 17 by terrorising the employees through gunshots and bombing, the police are yet to arrest them.
“The accused involved in the August 13 loot incident in which Rs 55,000 were looted from Indian Oil patrol pump at Mitrapur also have not been arrest yet. We are feeling insecure to open our patrol pumps.
We will be forced to shut down all the pumps if the police fail to nab the culprits within next seven days,” he warned.
The pump owners alleged though the then SP had deployed armed cops and made siren facilities in the filling stations along NH-5 and NH-60 following frequent loot incidents during 2007-08 and successfully put a check on the crimes, they were withdrawn after his departure.