BHUBANESWAR: Police in communally sensitive districts of the State be alert. If intelligence inputs are to be believed, the strong enmity between two communities in some of the pockets, which witnessed communal tension during festivities last year, still exists.
In September last year, violence had erupted between two communities in Soro, Rourkela and Pattamundai towns of Balasore, Sundargarh and Kendrapara districts respectively during Ganesh Puja celebrations leading to large scale arson.
The respective administrations had to impose curfew and prohibitory orders for days together to bring the situation under control and restore normalcy.
Intelligence inputs shared with the police administrations in Balasore, Bhadrak, and Kendrapara indicated that the districts are sensitive as relation between two communities is not cordial over illegal transportation/sale of beef in exposed manner and encroachment of Government land besides some other delicate issues.
Sensitive places in Balasore district which need extra alertness are Soro, Remuna, Jhankharai, Chasakhand, Chandipur and Simulia besides Balasore town having sizeable Muslim population.
In Sundargarh district, Rajgangpur town, Bondenga, Kanika, Biramitrapur and Sundargarh town, thickly dominated by minority community, where relation between two communities is hostile over different local issues like conversion, illegal cattle transportation and kidnapping of girls, are considered as communally hypersensitive.
The intelligence inputs accessed by ‘The Express’ warned that since mutual distrust and ill-feeling between communities still exist, communal violence may resurface this time during the celebrations for which the cops need to remain on constant and extra vigilant.
As Odisha is all set to observe Ganesh Chaturthi on Friday, the inputs from the State intelligence wing have left the cops on tenterhooks. They have been asked to lay special emphasis on youth clubs in the sensitive pockets.
With the immersion procession coinciding with the Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid), police have been cautioned to remain watchful for the use of the sound box in high decibel, provocative slogans by communal fanatics and nude dance before mosques and Mazars to prevent unpleasant situations which may lead to communal disharmony.
The police have been directed to strictly follow the 2008 guideline of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which had asked the district administrations to prepare detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and contingency plans so that escalated situation/riots could be preempted or prevented.
The State had witnessed 1,914 and 1,976 riot cases in 2016 and 2015 respectively.