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Curfew in Assam’s Hailakandi extended for 10 more days as tension remains high in region, internet to be restored today

Hailakandi (Assam): The curfew in Assam's Hailakandi was Monday extended for another 10 days in view of the law and order situation in the state's southern district, officials said. The curfew was to be in force till 7 am on Tuesday, as per earlier orders of the state government.

Hailakandi District Magistrate and Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli told a press conference about the extension of the curfew. Internet service, suspended in the Barak valley districts of Hailakandi, Karimganj and Cachar since 10 May, is likely to be restored on Tuesday, after assessing the situation, Jalli said.

The curfew, however, was relaxed in the entire district from 9 am to 3 pm with no untoward incident reported from anywhere so far, she said. During the relaxation period, people were seen thronging the handful of open shops to fetch essential commodities, even as offices and educational institutions remained closed.

 Curfew in Assam’s Hailakandi extended for 10 more days as tension remains high in region, internet to be restored today

Representational image. Reuters.

The administration will ensure that there is no shortage of essential commodities, and will take steps to prevent prices from soaring, Jalli said. The banking sector will function normally once the internet services are resumed, she said.

Following clashes between two communities on 10 May, a curfew was imposed in Hailakandi and later extended to the the entire district, as authorities apprehended breach of peace and tranquility.

Meanwhile, the state government has begun assessing the damages caused to shops and property during the clashes, the DC said, adding, investigation is underway into the incident. Jalli claimed that the incident was the "handiwork of some miscreants" and not a communal flare up as "there exists unity and amity among the communities" in the district.

"Miscreants do not belong to any caste or community and their activities have to be put down with an iron hand. The people of Hailakandi have been maintaining peace, communal harmony and brotherhood and will continue doing so come what may," she said.

On 10 May, curfew was imposed initially in Hailakandi town from 1 pm and later extended to the entire district from 6 pm, as the authorities apprehended breach of peace and tranquility. One person had died in police firing and at least 15 people were injured, while more than 15 vehicles were damaged and 12 shops vandalised and set on fire in some parts of the town.

The Army, CRPF, Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Assam Rifles were deployed to assist the district administration in maintaining law and order, following the outbreak of violence and arson. The Assam government has instituted a one-man inquiry panel headed by Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar Bora to conduct a probe into the incident.

Trouble started when a group of people decided to hold the Friday noon prayers on the road, located at Kali Bari point of the town, in protest against some motorcycles being damaged by people belonging to another community. Police had to disperse the protesters initially by resorting to lathicharge followed by firing in the air.

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Updated Date: May 14, 2019 11:38:09 IST