Odisha witnessed a rise in rape cases in 2017 compared to the year before, a White Paper tabled by the home department in the Assembly has said.

The number of rape cases registered in 2017 was 2,221, up from 2,144 the previous year, it said, adding that charge sheets were filed in just 1401 incidents.

Stating that the law and order situation in the state remained by and large peaceful, the report said the police were forced to open fire at least for seven times during the year.

Though 2017 did not witness any terrorist activities, 52 cases of Maoist violence were reported from several parts of the state.

“There have been no reports of any Naxalite activities in Gajapati, Jajpur, Nabarangpur, Mayurbhanj and Dhenkanal districts last year. Leftwing extremism also remained largely under control in eight districts -Nuapada, Boudh, Nayagarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundergarh,” said the White Paper filed by the Home department yesterday.

The situation, however, continued to remain critical in the Maoist-hit districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Kalahandi, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Angul, Bolangir and Bargarh, it said.

Altogether, seven Maoists were killed in Odisha and 35 members arrested in 2017. The number of Maoist that surrendered before the police last year stands at 27.

Security personnel have seized 16 guns, 23 explosives and a large number of ammunition during search and combing operations during the year, the report stated.

Overall, Odisha has registered a marginal increase in crime during 2017 with 1, 03,866 cases registered with police during 2017 against 1, 03,602 in 2016.

Of the total 87,297 cases registered under different sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC), charge sheets were filed in 70,045 cases.

There has been a fall in murder cases in Odisha during the year with 1,267 murder incidents registered with police as against 1,328 the year before, the White Paper said.

The state has also witnessed 17 cases of communal tension during 2017.

The situations arising out of protests and agitations over various local issues by the opposition political parties and other fronts were tackled peacefully, the report added.