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Clubs under cop scanner

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 23: Recent incidents of club members harassing people and complaints that several clubs are being used for anti-social activities has brought them under police scanner.

There are more than 300 registered and unregistered clubs in the capital. “The number may be higher, as we are not sure about the total number of unregistered clubs,” said a police officer.

Commissioner of police B.K. Sharma said the police would keep a check on activities of clubs. “We do not have the exact number of clubs. We’ll take steps to collect the numbers and advise members of unregistered clubs to register with the police,” he said.

Residents of colonies usually form associations and clubs to organise social and cultural activities.

“Earlier, the elderly people used to manage clubs and associations. Activities used to be smooth then. But in recent times, most clubs are run by youngsters who are often involved in anti-social activities,” said a police officer.

Usually when it comes to donations for cultural programmes, the members harass people. Some politicians also patronise such clubs, said a police officer.

“Young members of clubs do not involve their elders, fearing their wrongdoings will be stopped,” said Ramesh Sahu, an elderly resident of Baramunda area.

Deputy commissioner of police Himanshu Lal said it was difficult to shut down these clubs as there were a part and parcel of society. “Certainly, their activities could be regulated,” said Lal.

On January 3, members of a club in Saliasahi slum terrorised a trader Shreedhar Rout and others by shooting at Rout. On January 5, youths of a local club in Indradhanu market attacked an OPELFED owner as he had refused to serve them more onions.

On January 16, a 45-year-old woman from a slum near Press Colony in Unit III was injured after some youths of a local club attacked her.

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