GUWAHATI: An uneasy calm prevailed in Assam’s restive Hailakandi town in Barak Valley where prohibitory orders, clamped under Section 144 of the CrPC, have been extended by 24 hours and mobile internet services suspended on Saturday.
On Friday, one person was killed and over a dozen others were injured in police firing and clashes between two groups. The condition of two of the injured was stated to be critical.
Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner (District Magistrate), Keerthi Jalli, said the situation was under control. “There hasn’t been any incident today (Saturday). The prohibitory orders have been extended by 24 hours. Mobile internet services have been also suspended,” she told TNIE.
The mobile internet services were suspended to thwart rumour-mongering. Director General of Police, Kuladhar Saikia, said the cyber cell of the police was keeping a hawk’s eye on social media activities. He warned that anyone found fanning communal passion would be dealt with firmly.
The state government has ordered a probe into the incident. It will be carried out by an additional chief secretary. Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Agarwal and Barak Valley division Commissioner Anuwaruddin Choudhury were camping in the town.
The state government has fanned out personnel of the police and paramilitary forces, such as CRPF and Assam Rifles, in the town to foil any untoward incident.
Assam Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, who was rushed to Hailakandi by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday, was scheduled to meet local leaders of Hindu and Muslim communities on Saturday evening.
“I will meet the leaders of both communities in the presence of senior government officials. It is a measure towards restoring peace and ironing out differences between the two communities,” he said. He also said that he was in constant touch with the Sonowal, who was personally monitoring the situation. Suklabaidya visited the injured admitted at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital on Saturday.
“I visited the hospital where around ten people are admitted. The condition of two of them was critical,” he said. The All Assam Minority Students’ Union has blamed the state government for the incident. Its president Azizur Rahman said the administration could have thwarted the incident if it had so wanted.
The trouble on Friday began when a group people, after offering ‘namaaz’, allegedly attacked shops, belonging to people of another community, by hurling stones. Soon, both sides got engaged in a stone-pelting battle. It got deteriorated later as shops were vandalised and vehicles set on fire. The violence has its genesis to a recent incident in which some two-wheelers, parked outside the mosque, were damaged by the miscreants.