Jammu & Kashmir

Hindu-Muslim clash in Odisha’s Sambalpur, internet services suspended

Hindu right-wing men rally in Odisha’s Sambalpur town.

Sambalpur: Internet services were suspended on Thursday following clashes between Hindu right-wing men and Muslims in Odisha’s Sambalpur town during a motorcycle procession undertaken by Hanuman Jayanti Samonyoya Samiti (HJSS) members on Wednesday evening.

At least 10 police personnel including were injured in the clash. However, police were yet to disclose the number of civilians injured in the incident.

The administration clamped prohibitory order under section 144 CrPC in areas coming under six police stations – Town, Dhanupali, Khetrajpur, Ainthapali, Bareipali and Sadar – in Sambalpur city.

“The situation is critical and miscreants are circulating false and inflammatory messages through social media to disturb public order in Sambalpur district,” the notification issued by Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, DK Singh, prohibiting internet use and access in Sambalpur, said.

Singh said the internet is suspended to prevent the circulation of “inflammatory and motivated messages”, which have the “potential to inflame communal passion”.

No access to social media WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Suspension of internet/data services of all MSPs & ISPs and Broadband dial-up system”, the notification said.

Sambalpur SP B Gangadhar said that 43 people have been detained and 26 people have so far booked under different sections of the IPC. They will be forwarded to the court.

The SP said 30 platoons of police force have been deployed in the area.

Asked whether it was a conspiracy, the SP said: “We think it is a sporadic incident. The investigation is going on. The situation is now under control.”

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