Crime graph goes up, policing at a loss in Odisha's Rourkela

Locals allege the new police officers are not responsive and remain disconnected from public.
Representative image
Representative image

ROURKELA: With at least eight murders along with a spate of loot and burglaries reported in the last six months, crime graph is upwardly mobile in Rourkela, indicating proactive policing has taken a hit.

Residents of the city, meanwhile, allege it is because the new officers, especially inspectors in-charge are disconnected from the public. They say the displayed close user group (CUG) contact numbers are mostly switched off or not responsive to calls or are being handled by constables.

In the most recent incident on the intervening night of June 14 and 15, miscreants barged into a church at Jharabahal village in Brahmani Tarang area and assaulted the priests besides looting cash. Similarly in another incident, a tribal man killed his wife and buried the body at the Naditola area in Brahmani Tarang, and the crime was detected many days later.

On April 5, a man killed his neighbour over previous enmity at Budhakani village within Bisra police limits, while in a double murder on the same night during a village feast at Matkanjharan in Lathikata, an invitee from Jharkhand killed a villager and in retaliation other villagers killed the accused of Jharkhand. The list is long.

In all these crimes, the role of police was post-crime reactive action and none of the culprits have yet been arrested. Ahead of the elections, Mitrabhanu Mohapatra was posted as Rourkela SP in May 2023 after which gradually all old police officers were replaced with new ones.

However, Mohapatra was moved out and DIG of Police Brijesh Kumar Rai was appointed as new Rourkela SP on April 6 this year.

Former Rourkela MLA Pravat Mohapatra said in Rourkela police district jurisdiction, proactive policing has gone for a toss. “Most of the officers are rather arrogant and not accessible to people,” he said. Rourkela SP Rai is yet to comment on the matter.

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