BHUBANESWAR: To promote sports in slums and dissuade youth from substance abuse, the commissionerate police is scheduled to launch APOSSA Yojna (All-round promotion of sports in slums and young juveniles against narcotics abuse) in Bhubaneswar and on Monday. Commissioner of police Satyajit Mohanty said purpose of the initiative is to take slum dwellers into confidence and prevent crimes in those areas.

Total of 436 slums with a population of over 3 lakh exist in Bhubaneswar. While the city’s population is around 9.5 lakh, over 30 per cent of the people reside in slums. “We usually find lack of social bonding and societal responsibility among those residing in slums. They treat police as their enemies and hardly bother to inform us if they come across any criminal activities in their surroundings. Police also hardly get time to interact with the slum dwellers. Now we want to bridge the gap between police and slum dwellers,” Mohanty said, adding “We will organise different sporting activities, like football and matches for slum people. Sporting competitions will also be organised between different slums.”

Since slums are considered as safe haven for drug peddlers and anti-socials, the police have decided to launch awareness drives against narcotics abuse. “We busted several drug trafficking rackets in slums. We will conduct sensitisation programmes among the slum-dwellers to check the menace,” the commissioner of police said.

Sources said brown worth over Rs 30 lakh was seized and 20 people arrested in separate crackdowns in different slums, including Haladi Padia and Salia Sahi here, in the past six months. Besides, a number of anti-social elements were arrested from different slums in connection with theft, burglary and cases of snatching.

of police Anup Kumar Sahoo said police would regularly visit slums and promote community policing in the areas. “Our personnel will regularly visit slums, interact with people and sensitise them to their obligations to society. We will also request them to keep a watch on suspicious movements,” Sahoo said.

There is also plan to involve slum dwellers to prevent crimes in their areas. Police are likely to identify youth clubs and women self-help groups in slums so that cops can partner with them in maintaining peace and law and order in the areas.


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