Pradeep Pattanayak

The Balasore district administration has clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the area from Pir Bazar to Patrapada to prevent further escalation of tensions as a clash broke out between two groups near Bhujakhia Pir in Balasore town. 

According to reports, some local people spotted the water flowing in the drain near the Pir turning red. In no time, the news spread and people came onto the road. They staged a protest and blocked the Chandipur-Balasore main road. 

Later the incident snowballed into a group clash with another community opposing the demonstration and in no time, two sides resorting to pelting stones at each other. It continued for 10 to 15 fifteen minutes. 

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On being informed, police reached the spot and tried to bring the situation under control. In the process, four to five people including cops were said to have sustained injuries and 15 to 20 vehicles were damaged completely. 

At the time of filing this report, though the situation was under control, there was palpable tension in the locality. Police officers were holding discussions with senior citizens of both sides to prevent further escalation of the situation. 

No arrest or detainment was made in this regard, sources said.

CM appeals for peace 

Later in the day, Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Majhi appealed to different communities to maintain peace and harmony. He also discussed with the district Collector and the SP and asked them to bring the situation under control. 

(Reported by Prakash Mohanty) 

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