Curfew imposed in Bihar’s Aurangabad after communal clashes

Police said, shoot at sight orders had been issued to frustrate any attempt of trouble maker to vitiate the atmosphere

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Aurangabad: Communal clashes broke out in Bihar’s southern Aurangabad town during Ram Navmi processions for the second day on Monday, prompting the administration to impose a curfew and make heavy deployment of police forces in sensitive areas.

Trouble started during Ramnavmi processions taken out in the district headquarters town by various akharas in the afternoon as per predetermined programmes duly sanctioned by the administration.

More than 20 shops in Islamtoli, Sabzibazaar and Maharajganj Road were set afire soon after news of the stone-pelting incident spread across the town, said sources. At least six people were injured in firing at Purani Qazi Mohalla, said police sources.

The administration was careful not to allow the situation get out of control and imposed curfew in the entire town and mounted a monitoring of social media activities to prevent the spread of rumours.

“The situation is well under control. The trouble-makers are being identified. However, no shoot-at-sight orders have been issued,” said SP Satya Prakash.

District police and CRPF personnel conducted flag-marches in several sensitive areas of the town. More than 50 people were taken into custody on the charge of indulging in violent acts over the two days, said sources.

In the State Assembly, the Opposition RJD and Congress attacked the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government over the March 17 communal clashes in Bhagalpur’s Nathnagar and the present Aurangabad clashes.

Nitish Kumar assured that the government is doing its best to maintain communal harmony and urged Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav not to “over-emphasize the clashes” in order to let violent sentiments die down.

Police said, shoot at sight orders had been issued to frustrate any attempt of the troublemaker to vitiate the atmosphere. Sources said that Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans had been deployed at sensitive places and a close vigil was being maintained on the situation. The miscreants also set aflame some shops in Maharajganj locality, sources added.

Police said, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code were promulgated in the district headquarters due to tension during Ram Navami procession yesterday but the curfew was imposed when the miscreants indulged in unlawful activities during the religious process during the day.