Keonjhar District administration on Tuesday suspended the internet services in the district after clashes broke out over a a Ram Navami rally a day ago. The district administration also extended the prohibitory orders imposed on Joda town, the site of the clashes, for another 24 hours.
Officials confirmed the decision of suspending internet services citing prevention of rumours that may incite further violence. The curfew also saw banking activities and mineral transportation activities being stopped abruptly with the extension, leaving rows of trucks stranded on the thoroughfares.
“Prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC were first imposed on Monday evening till 10 am on Tuesday in view of the clashes. It was extended later by 24 hours to avoid mass gathering. Internet services have been suspended to prevent rumour-mongering,” the district official said.
Senior officials, including Keonjhar superintendent of police, held a meeting with leaders of both the communities in the morning in a bid to pacify them, the official said.
As many as 17 platoons of police, each comprising 30 personnel, have been deployed in the area to control the law and order situation.
A group of people had on Monday taken out a Ram Navami procession in the town, despite being denied permission by the local police.
It was intercepted midway by members of another community, following which clashes ensued between the two sides, leaving eight people injured.
Several vehicles were damaged in the melee.