Bhubaneswar, April 12: Ban on social media was lifted and a curfew was relaxed for nine hours in Bhadrak, post communal violence erupted in Odisha over objectionable comments on Hindu deities were posted on Facebook. After the communal violence stirred up in Bhadrak province, stringent curfew was imposed to handle the situation that went out of control on 7 April.On Sunday the curfew was relaxed for few hours to allow people to purchase essential commodities. All educational institutions, banks, and government offices were opened today, even as security forces kept a close vigil on the situation, police sources said. Educational institutions, government offices, banks, and ATMs were open even as security forces kept vigil. Vehicular movement was also normal, Bhadrak Collector Gyana Ranjan Das said. “The decision to lift the ban on the internet was taken in view of considerable improvement in the situation and also to facilitate banking transactions and other important operations in the area,” Das added.
The crime branch launched an investigation into the rumors circulated through social media following directions by Chief Secretary A P Padhi, who appealed to people not to believe in rumors. Taking strong action to control the unrest, the administration blocked the social media including WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter for next 48 hours.
The cyber police cell started seeking information from people to track miscreants spreading hate messages on social media and strict action would be taken against them, Special Director General of Police (Crime) B K Sharma said. Three companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and two companies of CRPF have arrived to assist police in maintaining law and order in the town, Bhadrak SP Dilip Das said.
On Friday, curfew was imposed in Odisha’s coastal town of Bhadrak as violence erupted after objectionable comments on Hindu deities were posted on Facebook. Mobs set ablaze shops, torched vehicles and burned police vehicles to protest. Curfew imposed in Bhadrak town has been extended today till 6 pm. So far over 80 persons have been detained by police. Even the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the evening appealed to people to maintain calm and peace.