Internet services restored, curfew relaxed in violence-hit Odisha’s Sambalpur

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File photo of security personnel during a curfew imposed after the incident of fresh violence on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti, in Sambalpur on April 15, 2023.

File photo of security personnel during a curfew imposed after the incident of fresh violence on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti, in Sambalpur on April 15, 2023.
| Photo Credit: PTI

The Odisha Government on April 23 lifted a curfew during the daytime and withdrew a ban on internet services in Sambalpur city which had recently witnessed violence during Hanuman Jayanti celebrations, an official said.

Internet services were fully restored after 10 days, while the administration relaxed the curfew from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., he said.

These decisions were taken after “significant improvement of the law and order situation” in the Western Odisha city, the Sambalpur district official said.

Internet services were suspended on April 13, while the curfew was imposed the next day in the wake of a clash between two groups during the Hanuman Jayanti celebrations.

Later, broadband and leased internet services were resumed between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., but the suspension of mobile internet was extended till April 22.

The administration had also come out with a toll-free number for the public to report “circulation of inappropriate messages or posts carrying hatred speech or false news”.

The western Odisha city had witnessed a clash between two communities during a motorcycle rally in the run-up to the Hanuman Jayanti on April 14.

As the clash spilled over to the streets, many vehicles were damaged and some shops were set on fire.


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A total of ten police personnel and around 12 Hanuman Jayanti coordination committee members, were injured in a stone pelting incident during the clash.

The police arrested over 100 people in connection with violence and the killing of a tribal youth on Hanuman Jayanti day.

Meanwhile, Id-ul-Fitr celebrations passed off peacefully on Saturday in Sambalpur, amid tight security arrangements and intensified patrolling across the city.

Mass prayers were not allowed in Sambalpur this year due to the violence that took place during Hanuman Jayanti processions on April 12 and 14. People offered prayers at 10 different mosques in Sambalpur in smaller batches.

Bargarh’s BJP MP Suresh Pujari said members of the National Commission of ST are scheduled to visit Sambalpur on Monday and meet the family members of the deceased tribal.

Earlier, the district administration had not allowed a delegation of BJP MPs and MLAs, including Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Bishweswar Tudu, to visit the village of the deceased.

The Odisha unit of BJP, in a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has sought a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the clash during the Hanuman Jayanti celebrations.

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