Curfew Imposed, Internet Suspension Period Extended in Sambalpur
Bhubaneswar/Sambalpur: Curfew was imposed on Sambalpur city and the Odisha government extended internet suspension by another 48 hours on Saturday after sporadic overnight violence and the death of a man under mysterious circumstances.
The violence took place after Friday evening's Hanuman Jayanti processions were held under tight security.
Odisha Director General of Police Sunik K Bansal said that more forces have been deployed in Sambalpur and senior officers are monitoring the situation.
“The situation is now under control and is expected to improve soon,” he said and cautioned that strict and stern action will be taken against mischief makers.
DIG (North Central Range) Brijesh Kumar Rai said the administration decided to clamp the curfew to restore peace and normalcy in the region after Friday night's violence.
The Sambalpur sub-collector said in a notice that the district administration imposed the curfew with immediate effect as a precautionary measure till further orders.
The general people were, however, to go out and buy essentials between 8.00 AM to 10.00 AM and 3.30 PM to 5.30 PM.
Sambalpur district collector Ananya Das said that all education institutions, business establishments and government and private offices will remain closed.
She appealed to the people to cooperate with the administration and ensure early restoration of peace in the western Odisha city.
The state home department in an official order said that access to internet and data services including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other social media will continue to be suspended till 10 AM of April 17.
The restriction was imposed under the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and The Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency/ Public Safety) Rules, 2017, the official order said.
Internet services were temporarily suspended for 48 hours from 10 am on April 13 to prevent the spread of inflammatory and motivated messages.
A number of shops were set on fire on Friday night at several areas of the city like Ring Road, VSS Marg, Gol Bazaar, Geiti Road, and Nuapada despite the deployment of a large number of security personnel.
Police said the shops were set on fire after the news regarding the stabbing to death of a youth spread. The youth, who hailed from nearby Badasinghari village, died at the hospital. His associate was stabbed and critically injured.
Das, however, said the youth's murder may not be related to the violence linked to the Hanuman Jayanti celebration.
Some people were arrested on the charge of arson and strict action will be taken against mischief makers, she said.
“It is an extraordinary situation in Sambalpur. I urge people not to believe in rumours. About 95% of the news being circulated was false. The normal condition will return soon with the help of people. The administration will decide on the measures in holding examinations for assistant section officers and other competitive tests," Das said.
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