Curfew relaxed in violence-hit Bhadrak town in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, April 10 (IANS) With a gradual improvement in the situation in trouble-torn Bhadrak town in Odisha, the administration on Monday relaxed curfew for six hours even as social media platforms remained blocked.

The curfew was relaxed initially from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and later till 2 p.m. to allow people to procure essential commodities, said Bhadrak District Collector Gyana Ranjan Das.

He said all educational institutions, banks and government offices would be opened from Tuesday.

Director General of Police K.B. Singh said the city is gradually moving towards normalcy.

“The situation is fully under control and normalcy restored in the town. Several shops and business establishments were open after the curfew was relaxed,” said Singh.

So far, eight cases have been registered and around 80 people arrested in connection with the violence that took place in the town last week, he said.

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The DGP said 38 platoons of police along with two companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in and around the city to maintain law and order.

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch has begun investigation into the obscene remarks posted about Hindu Gods on social media, which led to violence in the district headquarters town last week.

“The cyber team of Odisha Crime Branch is in Bhadrak to investigate the spread of rumours in social media. A seven-member team shall probe all aspects related to circulation of rumours and objectionable materials in social media,” Crime Branch Special DG B.K. Sharma tweeted.

The cyber police cell is seeking information from people to track the miscreants spreading hate messages on social media. Strict action would be taken against them, Sharma said.

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