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Minister Suklabaidya takes stock of situation in Hailakandi; curfew extended till 7 pm on Sunday

Press Trust of India  |  Hailakandi (Assam) 

Assam Minister Parimal Suklabaidya on Saturday took stock of the prevailing situation in Hailakandi district, where curfew was clamped after a communal clash.

A clash between two communities on Friday claimed one life and left 14 others injured, officials said.

An indefinite curfew was imposed in Hailakandi town on Friday 1 pm.

In another order, District Magistrate and Deputy Commissioner of Hailakandi, Keerthi Jalli, had extended the prohibitory order across the entire district from 6.00 pm Friday till 7.00 pm on Sunday, May 12.

No untoward incident has been reported so far from the district on Saturday, officials added.

Following Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal's instructions, Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Agarwalla and Commissioner of Barak Valley Region Anuwaruddin Choudhury arrived at Hailakandi on Saturday to take stock of the situation.

Suklabaidya, through the media, appealed to the people to refrain from rumour mongering in order to maintain peace and the traditional peaceful relations among all communities.

The minister urged the people to take their grievances to the district administration and not take the law into their hands.

He also assured the district administration was taking all measures for the protection and security of all people.

Meanwhile, mobile phone users in Barak valley claimed they were unable to use internet facility since Friday night.

People claimed service providers sent messages to them saying internet service in the area had been temporarily blocked as per government order.

However, official sources declined to confirm the same. Citizens said internet was blocked, probably, to check rumour mongering through social media.

Barak valley is spread across three districts of Hailakandi, Cachar and Karimganj.

On Friday, the Army was called in to assist the district administration to maintain peace following the clash.

Out of the 15 persons injured, one of them succumbed to his wounds in the hospital last night. Over 15 vehicles were damaged, 12 shops vandalised and set on fire in different parts of the town, official sources said.

Trouble began when a group of people had decided to hold the Friday noon prayers on the road in front of a mosque located at Kali Bari Point in the town, protesting the seats of some motorcyles being damaged by people belonging to another community two days ago, sources said.

Groups protested against the prayers being held on the road leading to clashes, officials said, adding the police had to fire shots in the air to disperse the protestors.

Urging the people not to spread rumours and create fear psychosis, Jalli said, "The administration has taken all action to maintain peace and security of the people."

"It is not a communal clash but two, three miscreants have created all this," she said.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had announced an inquiry into the clash on Friday. Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Bora will conduct the inquiry and submit a report to the government.

Sonowal, through a press release, also asked the people to maintain peace and harmony and urged them not to "allow divisive forces to create unrest in the society".

He warned the state government would take strong action against any such forces inimical to the interest of the state and its people.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sat, May 11 2019. 15:41 IST