Bhubaneswar: Odisha Police has always been in the firing line for its abysmal conviction rate which clearly indicates its inefficient investigation mechanism. There are a huge number of cases where investigations are pending at police stations while there is a steady pile-up of cases awaiting filing of charge-sheets.
Data accessed by this newspaper revealed that over 50 per cent of the cases registered every year under different crime heads are stuck in investigations at various police stations across the state.
These facts were presented before the state Assembly through a white paper and made public by various assembly questions. In 2015, there are 1,473 murder cases registered in the state out of which charge-sheets were filed in 775 cases which works out to above 50 per cent. No charge-sheets could be filed in 698 murder cases amounting to 47.38 per cent of the total murder cases registered in 2015.
Although the number of murder cases dropped to 1,328 in 2016, the rate of investigations being held up went up by 3.37 per cent. Out of 1,328 cases, charge-sheets were filed in 654 cases while a whopping 674 cases (50.75 per cent) remained unsolved.
In 2017, out of a total of 1,267 murder cases registered, police succeeded in submitting charge-sheets in 643 cases while investigations in 624 (49.25 per cent) cases are still pending. The dismal track record of investigations by the state police was also repeated in other serious offences. Data revealed that the number of rape cases registered at police stations between 2015 and 2017 were 2,286, 2,144 and 2,221 respectively. Of this, police failed to complete probe in 805 (35.21 pc), 794 (37.03%) and 820 (36.92%) cases in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.
There were 486 cases registered under the head of robbery by organised criminal gangs in 2015 while the figure was 566 in 2016 and 534 in 2017. However, charge-sheets could be filed in less than half these cases while a bulk of these cases (267 in 2015, 288 in 2016 and 303 in 2017) are still pending at police stations. Its record on investigations into robbery and theft cases was even more dismal as over 55 per cent of these cases are pending at police stations. Many people wanted by police for their involvement in serious crimes are still absconding. Police are yet to arrest 422 murder and 275 rape accused against cases filed in 2015 and 2016.
The report card of the commissionerate police, which is supposed to be the most equipped and advanced police force in the state, is no better. According to an RTI application, investigations in 11,000 cases including 94 murders and 143 rapes registered at various police stations under the Commissionerate Police since 2007 are still pending.