Low conviction rate in Odisha cause for concern: CM

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Bhubaneswar: Noting that a low conviction rate is a matter of concern for the state, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday asked police personnel to use modern technology during investigation and also focus on crime against women and children.

Addressing the valedictory session of the annual senior police officers conference, the chief minister said all possible steps should be taken to enhance the conviction rate in Odisha.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics, the conviction rate in Odisha stood at 11.2 per cent in 2020, the second-lowest after Assam, whose conviction rate was 5.4 per cent.

In 2019, the state’s conviction rate was 21.5 per cent, the NCRB report said.

Asserting that crime against women and children should always be a focus area for the police, Patnaik said any complaint received in this regard should be dealt with immediately and with empathy.

The special wing in Odisha Police to look after offences against women and children should provide leadership in this field, he said.

Highlighting that road safety also continues to be an area of concern, Patnaik said, there was an urgent need to take up preventive and innovative steps to reduce the number of deaths due to road accidents.

Emphasising that his government was committed to maintaining peace and harmony in the state, the chief minister said: We are committed to ensure safety and security of the people especially the vulnerable sections of society.

I expect all of you (senior officers) to lead the police by personal example and provide quality leadership. I also expect you to be caring and very sensitive to the victims and their families.

Pointing out that he is aware of the shortage of housing for front-line police personnel, the chief minister said for the next five years, a sum of Rs. 1,000 crore will be provided for the construction of police buildings with special emphasis on housing for the law enforcers.

Praising the force for its selfless service during cyclones and the COVID-19 pandemic with compassion and empathy, Patnaik said as many as 61 police personnel sacrificed their lives in the line of duty as Covid Warriors.

I pay homage to the departed souls and assure their families all support, the chief minister said.

The chief minister also lauded the role of the police in tackling the challenge of Left Wing Extremism as a result of which five districts like Angul, Boudh, Deogarh, Nayagarh, and Sambalpur have been declared as LWE free this year.

Swabhiman Anchal, an erstwhile cut-off Area in Malkangiri district has seen remarkable improvement over the last couple of years, he said.

I am happy to note that the law and order situation in the state remained peaceful in 2021, the chief minister said.

Describing that the aim of Mo Sarkar is that people coming to public offices should be treated with dignity, the chief minister said good feedback has been received under Mo Sarkar’ regarding Odisha Police.

Under the 5T (teamwork, technology, transparency, timely completion of work leading to transformation) charter of the police, certain good initiatives have been undertaken, Patnaik said.

These include strengthening of Civil police, fast processing of passport verification, timely promotion of policemen, e-FIR in theft cases.

The chief minister also congratulated the police for organising an effective drive against Narcotic drugs with the STF taking the lead.

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