Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik tonight appealed the people of Bhadrak to maintain peace and assured them that stringent action will be taken against those escalating tension.
Naveen’s appeal came through twitter post as the Chief Minister is in the national capital for five days.
Bhadrak town witnessed escalation of tension following failure of the peace committee talks.
In order to tackle the communal violence Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked Principal Secretary Home Asit Tripathy and DGP K B Singh to rush to the spot after fresh violence erupted in Coastal Town of Bhadrakh.
Mr.Tripathy after reaching Bhadrakh, took stock of the violent situation. Superintendent of Police Bhadrakh, Dilip Das briefed about the situation.
He said that Curfew was clamped in the town today as fresh violence erupted in some areas after talks for peace failed to resolve the row triggered by alleged offensive remarks on Social Media on Lord Ram and Devi Sita.
"As fresh violence broke out in several areas of the town, the District Administration imposed curfew in order to bring the situation under control," Mr.Das said.
After the town witnessed violent incidents on 6 April, in protest against the posting of obnoxious comments on Social Media about Lord Ram and Devi Sita, the District Administration had called a peace committee meeting today, in a bid to restore normalcy and maintain communal harmony.
However, after the peace committee meeting failed to yield any result, a mob clashed with police personnel and pelted stones. Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Sudhakar Jena, was injured and a police vehicle was damaged in the incident, police said.
One group took out a procession and allegedly raised objectionable remarks that evoked sharp reaction from other sections.
Police resorted to lathi-charge and used mild force to control the situation as attempts were made to violate the prohibitory orders imposed under Section 144 of CrPC.
Road blockades were put at various places, including the High school, Town hall, Bonth and Akhandalamani Chhak.
Absence of a District Magistrate was posing problem as the Collector post was lying vacant since 31 March as L N Mishra superannuated from Service from that day. ADM Bhadrakh was kept in Charge of the District.
So the State Government appointed an IAS Officer Gyana Das today and asked him to report on duty today itself.
Mr.Das, who was the Commissioner of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC), has taken charge of DM..
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar, who was scheduled to attend a function in Bhadrak tomorrow, said he has been informed about the tense situation in the town by the police.
"Unless the situation improves in Bhadrakh, I will not visit the town," he said.
Trouble erupted on 6 April, after alleged abusive comments went viral on Social Media. Angry people, including youth members from Bajarang Dal, VHP and Sri Ramnavami Committee, staged demonstration before the Bhadrak Town Police Station.
They also lodged the written complaint with the Police and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.
Meanwhile, President of Bhadrak Muslim Jamaat Abdul Bari in a statement condemned the alleged remarks about Lord Ram and demanded appropriate action against those involved in such nefarious exercise.
Mr.Bari said people of Bhadrakh are peace loving and there is no ill feeling among the communities so miscreants are needed to be nabbed immediately.
BJP State President Basant Panda, Saffron Veteran Pratap Sarangi, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan have urged the people to maintain communal harmony in the violent situation.