The situation in Bhadrak town is gradually limping to normalcy as the Odisha Police have so far arrested 80 mischief mongers on charge of escalating tension.
Principal Secretary Home, Asit Tripathy’s multi-pronged strategy has started giving results which is evident from the fact that no major violence took place during last 24 hours.
Mr.Tripathy rushed to the Troubled Zone and worked out strategy with DGP K B Singh.
Besides deploying armed Police Forces in crucial points , Mr.Tripathy has divided the entire Bhadrak town into five different sectors and appointed one sector officer each. The sector officers were held accountable if some untoward incident took place in their jurisdiction.
Each sector is covered with three-layer security like static deployment, mobile patrolling with magistrate and quick action team.
However, despite several measures, the miscreants could succeed in setting fire on three shops at Bant Chhak.
A mischief monger reportedly threw a burning cycle tyre from atop the fly over at Bant Chhak leading to fire in three shops located near the fly-over.
This apart, Special DGP, Crime, B K Sharma has also ensured that there was no spread of rumor which escalated tension in earlier days.
A team of CB’s cyber cell today reached Bhadrak and verified the source of rumor messages.
Curfew was relaxed for six hours today in Bhadrak today. People were happily purchased vegetables, and other food items during the "No Curfew Hours".
DGP Mr.Singh said the Police have arrested 80 people and registered eight cases in connection with the arson and violence that took place in the town.
He said the situation was "fully under control" and normalcy was restored in the town as shops, markets, business establishments, offices, ATMs and banks opened during the curfew relaxation period.
The curfew, which was imposed on Friday, was relaxed from 8 am to till 2 pm during the day to allow people to procure essential commodities and do their daily chores, Bhadrak District Collector Gyana Ranjan Das said.
He said the administration and security forces are keeping a close watch and the future course of action would be decided after a review of the situation in the town, where violence had erupted after some persons allegedly posted offensive remarks against Hindu deities on the social media.
Steps have been taken to keep schools and colleges and government offices open tomorrow and arrangements have been made to ensure availability of essential items like milk, vegetables and eggs, he said.
People queued up at shops to purchase provisions, the police said adding the curfew would continue for some more time.
Social Media platforms remained blocked after the state government restricted access to them in Bhadrak town and nearby areas for 48 hours from last night to prevent rumours from spreading, a senior official said.
State Chief Secretary A P Padhi, who has directed the Crime Branch to probe the rumors circulated through social media, said no rumor monger would be allowed to instigate people and escalate tension.
A senior official said Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel had yesterday staged flag march in sensitive areas.
Besides, three companies of RAF and two companies of CRPF, 35 platoons of police (around 1,200 personnel) have been deployed to maintain law and order in the town.