Odisha MoS Home Tusharkanti Behera Alleges Police-Lawyer Nexus In SC-ST Atrocity Cases

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Minister of State for Home, Tusharkanti Behera questioned the morality of some police officials and lawyers and charged them with exploiting the victim compensation program in cases involving SC & ST atrocities.

The Minister made the remark on the fringes of an event in Bhubaneswar on Monday. “It has come to my knowledge that there is a nexus between some lawyers and police officers who earn commission from compensation amount of SC/ST atrocity cases misusing the scheme,” the minister remarked.

He claimed that many people had come to him seeking compensation in such cases and that the majority of them involved atrocities against SC/STs and dowries. The Minister lamented that the victims are still unaware of the benefits of the Odisha victim compensation plan.

Behera asserted that the legal provisions in atrocity cases, such as the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act), are being exploited as a political tool to persecute others. She claimed that many SC/ST atrocity cases had political motivations.

“In these situations, some police officers assist lawyers in making bogus claims appear to be real so that the victims might receive government compensation. They in turn receive commission from the victims or their family members. This shouldn’t happen,” the minister said.

He claimed that the inspector in charge of police stations faces a lot of pressure in these situations and added that due to their workload, police are unable to raise awareness of these situations.

After the Supreme Court’s ruling in this case, the situation has improved, and an officer with the rank of a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) or tehsildar can now investigate allegations before releasing compensation funds, according to the Minister. He said that the victim only receives a portion of the compensation and that the remainder gets stolen.

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