RAF deployment sought in violence-hit Odisha town

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Bhubaneswar, April 8 (IANS) The Odisha government on Saturday sought deployment of four companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) from the central government in the trouble-torn Bhadrak district headquarters town, which witnessed communal violence in the past two days.

In a letter to Union Home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Odisha chief secretary A.P. Padhi sought the intervention of the Home Ministry to deploy four companies of the RAF in Bhadrak town.

The town witnessed violence on Friday after derogatory comments on Ram and Sita were posted on social media. Curfew has been imposed for an indefinite period keeping in view the volatile situation.

“The district administration has taken all preventive measures to control the situation and maintain communal harmony. While there is no loss of life or injuries, there has been extensive damage to property,” said Padhi.

“The district administration has imposed curfew to prevent any further escalation of tension. Odisha Home secretary and DGP are camping at Bhadrak to keep a close watch,” he added.

“However, the situation is still tense. Bhadrak is prone to communal incidents, given our past experience. Though police have been deployed to control the situation, we need reinforcement of specialised forces for tackling communal violence,” said the Chief Secretary.

–IANS

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