Bhubaneswar: Even though anti-socials feel it safe to board a hotel or lodging before executing crimes, with the existing loopholes in the security system, the owners of such business establishments are blatantly flouting the guidelines issued by the police.
Recently, Jharaphula Nayak, a girl student of Rama Devi University was allegedly killed by his boyfriend at a hotel in the Capital city. However, the police are yet to solve the mystery behind the alleged murder of the student.
Similarly, the Commissionerate Police is still groping in the dark to trace the killer boyfriend of a woman from Khurda whose body was found in a pool of blood in a room at hotel Highway Inn under Mancheswar police limits in 2018. On the other hand, a miscreant murdered a sexagenarian and former Railway employee by slitting his throat at a hotel near the city railway station here November 2019.
Two inter-state criminals who were involved in the bank ATM robbery in Info City area worth around Rs 25 lakh in 2020 revealed before the investigating officers about their stay in different hotels in city before committing the crime.
However, despite the occurrence of repeated incidents of crime in the hotels and lodgings, the owners of such business establishments are openly flouting the guidelines issued by Odisha Police in 2017. The state police have directed the hotel owners to follow various security measures to stop illegal activities in their establishments.
As per information available, the twin city police have a list of 259 hotels in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, though the actual number would be much higher.
The hoteliers have also been asked to install high pixel CCTV cameras at all the important places including the entry, exit and parking spot of the hotels. The hotels having low pixel CCTV cameras were directed to install advanced cameras for capturing high quality and clear videos of the visitors.
However, the police used to complain about the poor picture quality when it failed to identify the accused after every such incident.
Similarly, the guidelines have clearly prescribed the hotel owners to inform the local police if they come across any suspicious guests or questionable activities by occupants. Had the hotel owners informed the local police stations in connection with the suspicious activities of the occupants, the ATM robbery incident last year could have been averted.
Moreover, the police are apparently indifferent towards inspection of hotels and lodgings to ensure proper implementation of guidelines.
Speaking on the issue, DCP Umashankar Dash said, “It is true that only a few big hotels have been regularly submitting the details of occupants at the local police station. However, we have started gathering information regarding the hotels and lodgings in the city. We have asked the OYO authorities to supply the list of hotels registered with it. After getting the list, we will take stringent action against hoteliers violating the guidelines.”
Police sources said the Commissionerate is going to introduce a software application for registration of hotels, lodgings and other establishments.