Odisha a "sanctuary" of criminals: Congress

Opposition Congress on Tuesday walked out of the Odisha Assembly.

Bhubaneswar: Dubbing Odisha as a "sanctuary" of criminals in view of the abnormal rise in crimes against women in the state, opposition Congress on Tuesday walked out of the Assembly even as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik claimed adequate steps were taken for the protection of women.

The issue relating to crimes against women was discussed in the assembly through an adjournment motion where Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik claimed that the government has set up 16 fast track courts for trail of cases relating to offence against women. More such courts will also be set up soon, he said.

Patnaik said the state government has been strengthening `Mahila-Sisu` desk in all the 537 police stations across the state.

"This apart, the state government has also introduced Victim Compensation Scheme to provide financial assistance to rape victims," the chief minister said.

In case of rape and murder incident at Gandia in Dhenkanal district which took place on the night of March 12, Patnaik said two persons were so far arrested.

However, the opposition Congress ridiculed the state government and pointed out that crime against women, particularly rape cases have increased in the state.
"While the number of rape cases in 2011 was 1,112, it increased to 1,458 in 2012," said Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan.