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How ‘Safe’ Are Educational Institutions’ Campuses In Bhubaneswar

21 December 2017

Tapan Das

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Bhubaneswar: Over the past one and a half decade the Temple City has witnessed enormous growth in the number of institutions of higher education. The surge has been complemented with an influx of students from all corners of the country, and to some extent abroad.

With technical colleges continuing to mushroom in the State Capital, a major question arises – whether the City is safe for students? The population of students in Bhubaneswar is not the same as it was five years back. On an average, there is a 10 per cent growth in the number of students in the City per year.

Has there been a proportionate rise in the strength of the police personnel guarding the City, is a question to ponder. With rising instances of eve-teasing, molestation, cyber-crimes, drug addiction and student unrest, it is high time, the Commissionerate of Police improvises its strategy and add on to manpower, logistics and technical resources.

A latest instance to draw a reference can be the alleged sexual assault of a female student at a private medical college here. While the cops were prompt in nabbing the accused named by the victim, and booking him on charges of rape, preventive measures can act as a deterrent to such crimes.

DCP Satyabrata Bhoi said, the cops in Bhubaneswar Urban Police District (UPD) are capable enough to deal with heinous crimes of this nature. However, so far as prevention is concerned, the educational institutions have to play a proactive role in ensuring on-campus security.

“The investigation in such cases is always a priority. In the case of the medical student, once the medical examination reports are available, the victim’s statement under Section 164 of the CrPC will be recorded. The statement of the college authority will be taken into account, as the probe progresses,” Bhoi added.

The Commissionerate of Police, which had initiated awareness campaigns in colleges earlier, might restart similar programmes in the near future. Besides, self-defence training which was a major part of the initiative is also likely to be resumed.

“We have been contemplating to depute plain-clothed personnel on college premises. But the manpower and adept professionals is an impediment,” a senior police official said. If sources are to be believed, such initiatives are on the anvil for the Smart City’s police, and a major proposal in this regard would be announced soon.

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Satyabrata Bhoi, DCP, Bhubaneswar

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Tirupati Panigrahi, Chairman, Hi-Tech Group