BALASORE: Three more persons were arrested at Soro in Balasore district on Thursday for arson and creating disturbance. With this, the number of persons arrested in connection with the communal tension that led to promulgation of curfew has reached 18.
As per the decision, the district administration relaxed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPc for nearly 12 hours and from Friday, it will be relaxed for at least 14 hours allowing the traders to open their shops till 8 pm.
Thin attendance, however, was reported at several educational institutions, Government offices, banks and courts which were opened after five days. Some of the schools will remain closed for a few more days till withdrawal of forces which are camping there.
Though armed police forces are deployed at several places to scrutinise the movement of vehicles, people are allowed to move freely during the relaxation period. The residents, who were confined to their homes during the strife, are coming out to complete their pending works and shopping.
The administration is holding meetings with members of both communities and leaving no stone unturned to restore peace in the area. Balasore Collector Pramod Kumar Das said the situation is normal since no untoward incident has been reported.
“We are allowing people to move freely and do their works. The restriction on their movement during day has been lifted. Now the forces will keep close watch on their movement during night. Processions, meetings and get-together have been banned,” he said.
Meanwhile, Soro Byabasayee Mahasangha president Santosh Mohanty demanded that the district administration allow the traders open their shops for more time during night. “The ban orders should be relaxed at least till 10 pm for the convenience of traders and residents as well,” he observed and sought cooperation from the authorities.
The sleepy town was tense for nearly a week following a group clash near Pathan Mahalla Masjid between two communities during immersion of Ganesh idols. While eight persons were injured, eight shops and a poultry farm were torched.