Process of assessing damage stepped up in Bhadrak

Bhadrak: Officials today stepped up the process of assessing the damage in Bhadrak town, where violence had erupted over alleged abusive remarks against Hindu deities on social media.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, during his visit to the arson-hit town yesterday, had directed the officials to make a detailed assessment of the damage and report within three days for providing financial assistance to the affected for livelihood restoration.

Meanwhile, curfew, which was imposed in the town on April 7, was relaxed from 7 AM till 5 PM today following an improvement in the situation, Collector Gyana Ranjan Das said.

The decision to relax the curfew for a longer period was taken in view of a “considerable” improvement in the situation, he said, adding that inter-district bus services were normal today.

The ban imposed on social media websites in Bhadrak and nearby areas on April 9 was lifted on April 11 night.

Violence had erupted in the town on April 6 after a group staged a demonstration near the town police station, demanding arrest of those involved in posting alleged offensive remarks against Hindu deities on social media.

Though the administration clamped prohibitory orders, tension persisted and fresh violence was reported on April 7, despite a peace meeting. Escalation in tension prompted the administration to impose curfew on April 7.