Berhampur: Come Kumar Purnima and gambling fever grips Ganjam despite the strict vigilance of the police. This year too, there has been a flurry of activities to organise gambling sessions from the hawk’s eye of the cops.
The police raids over the years seem to have little effect as gambling from Dussera to Kumar Purnima has become a compulsive ritualistic practice among the people of all ages in Ganjam.
The people here believe that Goddess Lakshmi can be invoked only through gambling. The practice is so strongly ingrained that they believe that one who does not gamble during this time is destined to be reborn as an owl in next birth.
In order to escape from the hands of law, many resort to gambling among family members with lower stakes ranging to hundreds of rupees while others arrange get together of friends at homes to hold gambling sessions.
The organisers of the professional gambling dens keep changing their locations frequently. Stakes are quite high in these professional dens. Only those with deep pocket are allowed to enter these dens.
However, considering the grave social and financial impact of the practice, police continue to prevent it to the best of their capabilities. During the raids this year from October 13 till date, Berhampur police have registered 16 gambling cases and apprehended 73 gamblers. An amount of Rs 3,78,310 in cash has been seized from them.
Similarly, Ganjam police have apprehended 124 gamblers and seized Rs 3,78,760 during the last 24 hours on the eve of Kumar Purnima.