Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Sep 16:
In view of the steep rise in incidents of trucks being looted on Odisha’s highways, the state police has decided to set up a special cell in the crime branch police headquarters to deal with the menace at a meeting of senior police officials and members of truck owners’ association here Monday.
“The job of this special cell would be to monitor the investigation, submit the charge sheet, trace looted materials and coordinate the trial process in the appropriate courts,” said DGP Sanjiv Marik after the meeting.
Terming the loot of trucks on highways a very sensitive matter, the DGP said the proposed special cell would closely follow the case till its logical conclusion.
“Local police stations would be intimated to lodge FIRs in such incidents immediately without any delay,” Marik said. He also advised truck owners to install Global Positioning System (GPS devices) in their trucks to easily detect their position/location while on the move.
While at least 95 truck loot cases were reported last year, the figure has already neared 60 by the end of August this year, official sources said.
The meeting on ‘Safe Highways’ was organized in view of the recent spurt in truck loot cases, official sources revealed.
After a two-hour long brainstorming session attended by at least six range officers (DIG, IG) and ten SPs, it was decided that a special cell to deal with such menace shall be set up in crime branch police headquarters.
Robbers primarily target highways passing through Dhenkanal, Jajpur and Cuttack districts. In some cases, the drivers and helpers of the looted trucks have gone missing for long and in two such cases, the drivers had been found brutally murdered by the looters, sources said.
President of All Odisha Truckers’ Association P K Satpathy, who also attended the meeting, suggested further intensifying highway patrolling in the state.
Satpathy also suggested an NH patrolling helpline number so that the driver or the staff of the lorry could immediately contact the police or truck owner in case of an emergency.