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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 July 2024

Curfew imposed in Odisha's Balasore town following communal clash during Eid celebrations

Worried that communal violence could tarnish the image of the new BJP dispensation in Odisha, the Mohan Charan Majhi government asked the district collector to ensure that law and order prevailed in Balasore and normalcy was restored in the area as soon as possible

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 19.06.24, 07:50 AM
Mohan Charan Majhi in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

Mohan Charan Majhi in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. PTI picture

A curfew has been imposed in Balasore town of Odisha following communal violence on Monday during Eid-al-Adha celebrations.

The curfew will remain in force for an indefinite period. Internet services have been suspended in the town for the next 48 hours to prevent the misuse of social media and incitement of trouble.

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The district police have asked people not to leave their homes. All businesses, schools and colleges in the town were closed on Tuesday. All the connecting roads to Balasore town were sealed. In the evening, the police conducted a flag march in the town.

Balasore superintendent of police (SP) Sagarika Nath told The Telegraph: “The curfew will remain in force indefinitely. Forty platoons of police force have been deployed. Seven cases have been registered so far.”

Sources said the police had to impose the curfew after the violence spread to other areas and some shops belonging to both communities were ransacked on Monday night. Places of worship of both communities came under attack. Earlier, the administration had imposed CrPC Section 144 and imposed a curfew. Internet service will resume after 10am on June 20.

The communal violence flared up just four days after the first-ever BJP government was sworn in Odisha. The BJP has won the Balasore seat in both Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. Prior to the communal violence, two priests were brutally assaulted in Sundergarh district when they tried to thwart an attempt by robbers to loot a church. However, the robbers managed to decamp with 10 lakh. The priests’ room was ransacked.

Worried that communal violence could tarnish the image of the new BJP dispensation in Odisha, the Mohan Charan Majhi government asked the district collector to ensure that law and order prevailed in Balasore and normalcy was restored in the area as soon as possible. The chief minister talked to Balasore district collector Ashish Thakare and asked him to maintain law and order. Additional director-general of police (law and order) Sanjay Kumar has been camping in the town and supervising the law and order situation along with the Balasore SP.

The violence erupted when a section of Right-wing activists suspected that someone from the minority community had killed a cow inside a house and was trying to sell it in the market during Eid-al-Adha celebrations.

When they noticed something resembling blood in the nearby nulla, the Right-wing activists tried to barge into the house. The other group retaliated and a scuffle ensued. Both groups started pelting stones at each other.

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