Internet services have been suspended for another 24 hours in Odisha’s Sambalpur district to restore normalcy in the violence-hit Sambalpur town.
On the other hand, curfew is still in force in Sambalpur town.
As the town limped back to normal, the district administration relaxed the curfew for six-and-a-half hours during the day in two phases on Monday to ensure that people purchase essential commodities. However, since Thursday the Sambalpur district has had no internet service causing a lot of hardships to students, scribes as well as the common people.
The administration has so far arrested 85 people for their alleged involvement in the violence that erupted during a bike rally organised on Wednesday ahead of the Hanuman Jayanti on Friday.
The additional chief secretary and special relief commissioner, Satyabrata Sahu, said: “There have been no incidents of violence during the last 48 hours, The situation is under control.”
Director General of Police Sunil Kumar Bansal held a review meeting on Monday to take stock of the situation and asked the officials to take stern action against those indulging in violence.
The administration has yet to open the district border sealed following the escalation of violence. What came as an embarrassment for the administration was that despite the heavy presence of the police force, violence erupted during the Hanuman Jayanti on Friday. Incidents of arson were reported and a 27-year-old tribal youth was hacked to death by his rivals. However, the district administration also maintained that the murder of the youth on Friday night was unrelated to the Hanuman Jayanti procession and some of the accused in the group clash that led to the attack on the youth have already been arrested.
SP Sambalpur, Battula Gagadhar, said the stone pelting during the Hanuman Jayanti was pre-planned.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that some people had already kept stones in their houses,” said Gangadhar.