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CIMA Gallary

City reels from shortage of cops

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 16: The city’s law and order situation has allegedly gone for a toss as almost the entire police force is busy ensuring security of the legislature complex here during the Assembly session.

Officials blame it on the city police’s lack of manpower, which allegedly makes it extremely difficult for them to mobilise the forces from Mahatma Gandhi Marg to other places.

Recent incidents highlight how the city police have failed to react timely to situations at several places.

On the night of December 8, a 32- year-old youth was shot dead in his house by goons over a past rivalry at Dumduma. Though a week has passed since, the police could arrest only one person while the prime accused, who had fired at the victim, remains at large.

Similarly on December 10, two private bus owners’ associations clashed at Baramunda bus stand and Capital Hospital leaving 10 persons injured, seven buses vandalised, and the hospital ransacked.

Some people had also attacked a scribe when he was capturing pictures of vandalism on the Capital Hospital premises.

Though a police officer was suspended for negligence in duty in connection with the clash, the police could not arrest all the persons involved in the case. Deputy commissioner of police Nitinjeet Singh admitted that they had around 40 per cent less manpower, which affected their operations in the city especially during the Assembly sessions.

“Most of our forces and officers have been deployed around the Assembly to tackle law and order there. That’s why our men do not even get time to act swiftly in other exigencies. Once the Assembly session is over, we hope to be able to arrest all the persons allegedly involved in the recent cases,” he said.

Some other senior police officers also complained of heavy work pressure during the Assembly sessions, as they have to work over time for being deployed at the rally site.

“I could not sleep properly for the last 15 days,” said a police officer.

Even the city’s police stations wear a deserted look during the daytime with hardly one or two persons addressing people’s grievances and guarding the premises.

“We hope the government will take steps to recruit more police personnel in the coming days,” said police commissioner Sunil Roy.