ROURKELA: Two days after communal tension broke out in Rourkela, the Sundargarh administration and police are struggling to restore normalcy. Three more persons were arrested by Plant Site police on Wednesday taking the total number of arrests to 11 since Monday. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC clamped soon after the incidents of arson from Ambedkar Square to MS Square on Monday, were modified on Wednesday. While shops and business establishments on the Main Road stretch from Ambedkar Square to MS Square will be closed by 6 pm, only one person will be allowed to ride a motorcycle. The earlier order had banned assemblage of five or more persons.
Sources said shops in the affected area had opened on Wednesday but had to be closed down following provocative rumours by miscreants from both majority and minority communities. Shops in adjacent areas of Power House Road, Plant Site Road and MS Marg and MS Square were closed. A businessman was assaulted by three miscreants near Shanti Tower. IG of Police (IGP) - Western Range - RK Sharma claimed the ituation is under ontrol and improving.
He said trouble mongers are being identified and police deployment would continue till restoration of complete normalcy. Sundargarh Collector Bhupendra ingh Poonia said the administration s keeping a strict vigil on the developments and appealed to locals to maintain peace and communal harmony. He also warned of stern action on those spreading rumours. On Tuesday evening, after a mob blocked the Main Road near the District Police Headquarters at Uditnagar, police imposed a curfew-like situation for 90 minutes.
Trouble had erupted late on Monday near the minority community- dominated Nala Road inter- section connecting the Main Road. Eyewitnesses claimed that on the eve of Bakrid, members of minority community were present at Nala Road and the immersion procession halted there for some time. Some youths in the procession reportedly raised provocative slogans and those from the minority community reacted by pelting stones. Later, both sides indulged in stone pelting and a few stones landed on a Ganesh idol. Subsequently, a car and two scooters were set on fire and many other ve h i cles dama ged and overturned.