Curfew in Odisha’s Balasore After Clashes, Internet Services Suspended

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The trouble began when suspicion of cow slaughter in the Patrapada area triggered clashes between two communities

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Curfew remained in force in the northern Odisha town of Balasore for the second day on Wednesday following a clash between two groups over rumours of cow slaughter.

Internet services have also been halted, and social media access restricted due to tension and false messages circulating. Police deployed additional forces to maintain order, with no fresh incidents of violence reported after the clash on Monday that left 20 persons injured, an official said.

The trouble began when suspicion of cow slaughter in the Patrapada area triggered clashes between two communities, escalating into stone pelting and arson across neighbourhoods like Golapokhari, Motiganj, and Cinema Chhak, reports reaching here said on Wednesday.

The administration enforced Section 144 of the CrPC and later imposed a curfew as incidents spread. Balasore’s Police Superintendent, Sagarika Nath, confirmed multiple FIRs and 34 detentions, promising stringent legal action.

Chief Minister Mohan Majhi has instructed district authorities to take decisive measures, while MP Pratap Sarangi appealed for peace.

Given Balasore’s proximity to Bhadrak, known for communal sensitivity, the state government suspended internet services for 48 hours to prevent misuse. A heavy police force has been deployed across Balasore to prevent further escalation, with ADGP Sanjay Kumar overseeing operations and conducting a flag march.

Entry points to Balasore are sealed except for essential travel, ensuring safety amid heightened tensions. This challenge marks a significant test for Odisha’s newly inaugurated BJP government, tasked with maintaining law and order amidst heightened public scrutiny.

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