Koraput (Odisha), Jan 7 (PTI) At least 178 criminals, including 51 who had warrants pending against them for a long time, have been arrested in Odisha’s Koraput district in a two-month-long special drive, a senior police officer said.

Those arrested are facing charges of dacoity, attempt- to-murder, theft and robbery among other crimes, Koraput Superintendent of Police Kanwar Vishal Singh said.

“Around 125 of the 178 nabbed criminals are involved in dacoity-related cases. Most of the arrests have been made under the jurisdiction of Jeypore town and Jeypore Sadar police stations,” he said.

As part of the preparation for the special crackdown, a number of squads were formed and the tentative locations of the criminals mapped, the SP said.

“A database of 90 criminals who have been absconding for years was prepared recently. Of them, 50 have been arrested in our special drive. We are hopeful of arresting the rest in the next few weeks,” he stated.

With resentment brewing among the locals over alleged deterioration of law and order situation in and around Jeypore, the arrests of wanted criminals have brought relief to the police.

“We had clear orders to go ahead with our special campaign. In the past few weeks, we had four separate exchanges of fire while trying to nab the criminals. In two cases, however, the criminals managed to flee by firing at police,” said Baleswar Gidhi, Inspector In-charge of Jeypore town police station.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.