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Bhadrak still tense as Odisha police block all social media

LiveMint logoLiveMint 10-04-2017 Shaswati Das

New Delhi: Bhadrak district in Odisha was quiet but tense on Monday, with authorities blocking all social media platforms for 48 hours in response to religious violence that flared last week over allegations that a Facebook post disrespected Hindu gods.

Curfew was relaxed for six hours on Monday before being re-imposed, the Odisha police said.

“All social media sites have been blocked to dispel rumours doing the rounds and to help restore calm in the city. We will continue to monitor the situation for the next couple of days and then take a call accordingly,” said a senior Odisha police official, requesting anonymity.

Violence erupted on Thursday, when alleged members of the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad burnt tyres, set shops and police vehicles ablaze, and blocked roads in retaliation.

The home ministry on Saturday rushed 2,000 paramilitary personnel to help the local administration maintain law and order.

“We have identified the persons (trying to fan trouble). As many as 35 platoons of police force have been deployed in Bhadrak town. The IG is camping in the area. We will not allow anyone to disrupt communal harmony. The situation is now under control,” Odisha director general of police, KB Singh, told the media in the state.

On Saturday, police detained 35 people in connection with the violence.

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