Sambalpur (Odisha) [India]: The District Administration have imposed an indefinite curfew in Sambalpur and extended the ban on Internet services, as precautionary measures, in wake of fresh violence in Sambalpur, the police said on Saturday.
This comes after several shops were vandalised and set on fire in Sambalpur creating tension in the region.
DIG North Central Range, Brijesh Kumar Rai said, “The police are identifying the miscreants who set the shops on fire, and strict action will be taken against the culprits”.
He said that although the situation is under control, the authorities are keeping a close watch on the situation to restore normalcy.
“Odisha Police have deployed 54 platoons of police force at sensitive spots including religious places. Out of this 20 patrolling teams are in Sambalpur town. They are on the ground, round the clock to closely watch the situation. The situation is in control but we are working to restore normally,” Rai further said.
The DIG further said that they are also probing the alleged murder of a 30-year-old person in Sambalpur.
“A 30-year-old man was stabbed to death when he was returning home along with his friend after the Hanuman Jayanti Procession. However, we have also got to know that the deceased had an argument with someone before the incident. So, we are carrying out the investigation to ascertain the reason behind the incident.”
Sambalpur Collector Ananya Das said also urged the people to adhere to the guidelines for helping in restoring normalcy.
Addressing a press conference, she said, “Internet services will be suspended for another 48 hours in Sambalpur and a curfew has also been imposed for 48 hours. All shops, schools and colleges will remain closed. There will be relaxation in the curfew from 8-10 am and from 3:30 to 5 pm. A helpline number has also been circulated in case of emergency. The citizens have been asked not to move around in the area. The situation is under control and these steps have been taken only as a precautionary measure.”
Talking to the media persons, DGP Odisha Sunil Kumar Bansal also informed that extra police force has been deployed and the situation is under control.
“There has been some untoward incident in Sambalpur on Friday. We have deployed some extra police force, and senior officials are looking at the situation. At present, the situation is peaceful, and our prime focus is to ensure the law and order and to maintain peace in the area.”
He further said that “Action will be taken against those who have either provoked or involved in the violence in Sambalpur.”
Earlier in the day, Pravash Chandra Dandasana, the Sub Collector and Sub-district Magistrate of Sadar, Sambalpur in an official order said that authorities imposed an indefinite curfew in Sambalpur and extended the ban on Internet services.
The order stated that the decision was taken after “receiving input on the current situation prevailing in the Sambalpur town area.”
“A state of curfew under section 144 (1) CrPc is hereby declared wherein no individual or group of people are to exit their houses to ensure peace and tranquillity,” the order stated.
The order stated that in cases of emergency situations, procurement of necessary items would be allowed during the hours of 8 am-10 am and 3:30 pm-5:30 pm.
Earlier on Thursday, internet services in Odisha’s Sambalpur district were suspended for 48 hours in view of violence that broke out during a bike rally organised on April 12 for Hanuman Jayanti.
“Violence broke out between two communities in Odisha’s Sambalpur district on April 12. Internet services suspended, Section 144 imposed in the district after the violence,” District Administration said.
A case has been registered and 40 people have been detained. Three police officials have got injured, Sambalpur SP said.
On Wednesday, at least seven police personnel and 10 local public were injured police personnel, after violence erupted during a motorbike rally between two communities.
The injured police personnel were taken to a hospital and undergoing treatment