An uneasy calm prevailed on the fourth day of curfew and internet ban in Baran district’s Chhabra town here following communal clashes over stabbing of two youths, with 26 people being arrested so far. The curfew has hit normal lives as locals struggled to get essential supplies like medicines, fuel, milk and rations even on Wednesday.
Dozens of vehicles and shops were torched and vandalised by mobs in the violence that broke out in the town on Sunday. Five police personnel were injured. Superintendent of Police (Baran) Vineet Bansal said 26 people from both sides were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday. At least 10 cases were lodged against 50-55 people a day after the clashes, he said.
According to officials, the situation is peaceful with no untoward incident of violence being reported. A survey to assess loss and damage is underway, Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Mohammed Abubakr said, adding that the curfew in Chhabra town and the suspension of internet services in Baran district have been extended till April 15.
According to initial reports, at least 75 business establishments are estimated to have suffered heavy losses, he added. “The incident of violence and arson in the town on Sunday was not an organised or a pre-planned attack. It accidentally resulted out of an incident of stabbing. A probe to examine the reason is still underway,” the ADM said.
The administration has held two rounds of talks with people of each of the two sides, heard their grievances and complaints, and accordingly action is being taken, he added. The SP said detention of suspects and raids to nab the accused are underway, and more arrests are likely to be made very soon.
Grocers of the Kirana Vyapar Sangh of the town claimed they have suffered losses of around Rs seven-eight crores in the violence, and demanded the state government compensate them and arrest those involved. Locals complained that emergency services and supply of essential commodities have been hit.
“The district administration made no arrangement for emergency services and supply of essential regular commodities like milk and rations,” a resident of Aliganj area in the town claimed. Medical stores and petrol pumps in the town are closed since Sunday, he added.