Situation remained tense but under control in Hailakandi district of Assam where curfew continued for the second day on Saturday after it was imposed following Friday’s violence.
The situation in curfew bound Hailakandi district is tense but under control. There has been no major untoward incident since last night. However, the district administration apprehending breach of peace and tranquility further extended the curfew in the district till 7 am of May 13.
The Army has been called in to maintain peace after curfew was clamped in this southern district of Assam on Friday following a clash that left one person dead and 14 others injured.
A law and order review meeting was held at the Deputy Commissioner’s conference hall here on Saturday in which Environment & Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, MP Radheshyam Biswas, ADGP (law and order) Mukesh Agrawal, Deputy Commissioner, Keerthi Jalli, DIG southern range, PK Dutta, Superintendent of Police, Mohneesh Mishra, officers of CRPF, Assam Rifles and MLAs of Hailakandi, Algapur, Katlicherra, Silchar and Sonai were present.
The meeting discussed threadbare the prevailing situation and confidence building measures to be initiated to bring normalcy in the district.
Minister Suklabaidya said the top priority of the government is to restore normalcy in Hailakandi district. He said that he had come to take stock of the law and order situation following the unrest at the directions of the Chief Minister.
Suklabaidya appealed everyone to cooperate fully with the district administration in bringing back lasting and durable peace in the district.
A district level peace committee convened by the Deputy Commissioner was also held in which fervent plea was made to all the communities to maintain peace and communal harmony.
The meeting also appealed to the people to cooperate with the administration and law enforcing agencies to restore normalcy.
As per the directive of the Chief Minister, Environment & Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, ADGP Mukesh Agrawal and Commissioner of Barak Valley Region Dr. Anwaruddin Choudhury rushed to Hailakandi to take stock of the situation.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked Additional Chief Secretary, Rajiv Kumar Bora, to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report to the government.
The Chief Minister while reviewing the situation also directed the district administration to take all necessary measures to maintain law and order.
Sonowal also called on the people of the state to maintain peace and harmony and not to allow the divisive forces to create unrest.
He warned of strict action against forces inimical to the interests of the state and its people.
Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli said curfew was clamped from 6 pm in the district till 7 am of May 12 as some groups were trying to “indulge in violence and there is apprehension of grave risk and danger to human life and property”.
Earlier, an indefinite curfew was clamped only in Hailakandi town from 1 pm following the clash.
The district administration sought the Army’s help after clashes broke out when some people protested against prayers being held on a road in front of a mosque.
At least 15 people were injured, three of them critically, in the clash and more than 15 vehicles damaged and 12 shops vandalised and set on fire in some parts of the town.
One of the injured died at Silchar Medical College and Hospital last night. The youth has has been identified as Jashim Uddin, 28.
Police attempted to disperse the protestors by firing in the air in which 15 people were injured.
Jalli said a tense situation arose which ”necessitated immediate and speedy action for the maintenance of public peace and tranquility”.
Appealing to the people not to spread rumours, she said “the administration was doing everything to maintain peace and security of the people”.
“It is not a communal clash but two-three miscreants have created all this,” Jalli said.
She said the situation was under control with the deployment of personnel from the CRPF and the Assam Rifles.
Internet services have been suspended in the entire Barak Valley since last night as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of rumours and misinformation on social media platforms.
Meanwhile, Minister Suklabaidya, DC Jalli, ADGP Agrawal and SP Mishra visited the residence of the victim at Narayanpur on the outskirts of the town to offer heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family.