Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday countered the Congress allegations by claiming that the rate of conviction in rape and murder cases in the State is better than the national average.
Refuting the Opposition allegations that crimes are on the rise, the rate of conviction is abysmally low compared to national average and the State Government has utterly failed in maintaining law and order, the Chief Minister said the rate of conviction in rape cases is close to the national average, while the conviction rate is higher than the national average in murder cases.
“The creation of 30 special track courts for offences against women will facilitate speedy trial and also result in higher conviction rate,” the Chief Minister said in his reply to an adjournment motion on increasing atrocities on women amidst walkout by the Congress members.
Responding to Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan statement on fast track courts, the Chief Minister said after abolition of 35 such courts on the instruction of the Supreme Court, the Government created 34 additional district and sessions judges for speedy trial of cases of atrocity against women on a priority basis.
All cases of atrocities against Scheduled categories people are being reviewed at regular intervals and the initiative taken by the Government on enhancing the daily maintenance expenses for witness deposing in atrocities cases against SCs and STs will increase the rate of conviction.
Initiating the debate, Santosh Singh Saluja (Cong) criticised the State Government for the deteriorating law and order.
He alleged that more than 1,000 gang-rape cases have been recorded during the last 13 years. The Chief Minister said steps are being taken to strengthen the prosecution system.
The Odisha Public Service Commission is in the process of selecting candidates for recruitment of public prosecutors, additional public prosecutors and assistant public prosecutors.
Harichandan said the rape cases have increased by nearly 50 per cent. The conviction rate in the State was 21.3 per cent against the national average of 24.3 per cent, he added.
Stating that country-made pistols are now available aplenty, Harichandan said manufacturing of firearms has become a cottage industry in the State.
He also slammed the Government for its failure to operationalise the marine police station despite Central assistance. The porous State coast has encouraged Bangladeshis to push more firearms into the State, he added.
“I would like to apprise the House about costal security being a Centrally-sponsored scheme. But it is unfortunate that the Centre has not provided adequate funds for construction of marine police station and jetties,” the Chief Minister said, adding that repeated request to the Centre in this regard has gone unheeded.