Bhadrak unrest: Curfew imposed, new Collector deputed

Bhubaneswar: As communal tension gripped Bhadrak for the second consecutive day despite section 144 being in force on Friday after peace committee talks failed to reach a consensus, the administration swung into action by imposing curfew. Moreover, Cuttack Municipal Corporation commissioner Gyana Ranjan Das was appointed as the new Collector of the district. Das has been asked to take charges immediately, official sources said.

The post of Collector was lying vacant following the retirement of LN Mishra on March 31.

The district administration has also imposed Section 144 of CrPC in Dhamnagar of the district after incidents like road blockade and arson reported from many parts of the coastal town. Sources said, irate locals burnt some shops in the town in protest of ‘objectionable’ posts in social media on Thursday. They too took out rallies demanding immediate arrest of the ‘wrongdoers.’

On the other hand, to take a stock of the situation Home secretary Asit Tripathy and DGP KB Singh have left for Bhadrak this afternoon. Police sources said, the officials are expected to meet Bhadrak Superintended of Police and other officials of the district administration to chalk out next course of action.

Police said, the situation is under control and no loss of life has been reported. Nearly 15 platoons of police force have been deployed in the town and patrolling is on at various places to keep any untoward incident at bay.

Unconfirmed reports suggested some police vehicles have been damaged in the melee.

Earlier in the day, as there was no consensus in the peace committee meeting, convened among heads of religious groups, communal tension erupted in many parts of the town sending the police in a tizzy.

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