Barring relaxation of two hours, curfew continued in Nawada for the third consecutive day on Wednesday. The decision to relax the curfew was taken keeping in view the situation on the ground, which is being reviewed regularly, officials said.
"Curfew was relaxed for two hours from 4pm to 6pm today," said principal secretary, home, Amir Subhani.
The district administration has made elaborate security arrangements for Independence Day celebrations on Thursday. "If the situation continues to improve, we will give partial relaxation on Independence Day," a district officials said.
Indefinite curfew has been imposed in this district town, 120 km south-west of Patna, since Monday following clashes between two communities in the last five days that claimed 2 lives and left over 6 persons injured.
A team of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials led by deputy inspector general of police Amit Lodha has already begun investigations into the case on the basis of four FIRs lodged in this connection.
Except for the relaxation period, markets and educational institutions in Nawada town remained closed for the fifth consecutive day. "The situation is tense but under control, with no report of any fresh violence from any part of the town so far," the district magistrate Adesh Titarmare said.
The district administration has invoked National Security Act (NSA) for preventive detention and swift action against troublemakers and deployed additional security forces, including Rapid Action Force and intensified patrolling. Officials said, 40 persons have been sent to jail in connection with the violence and several others have been detained for interrogation.
Curfew was imposed in the town after police firing on Monday to quell a violent clash between two communities subsequent attack on Bundelkhand police station. "Assembly of five or more people at any particular place and display of firearms have been banned," Nawada superintendent of police MS Dhillon said.
On Friday, tension had erupted following an altercation between two groups over the menu at a roadside eatery in Nawada. The clashes continued after the death of a 20-year-old youth, Kundan Kumar, who was injured along with three others in the police firing. He died at the Patna Medical College and Hospital on Sunday.
Expressing concern over the situation in Nawada, chief minister Nitish Kumar has directed officials to take stern action against anti-social elements. He also appealed to people and political parties to help the government ensure social harmony in Nawada town.
"I will not allow communal tension to flare up, and the state government will take all steps for the restoration of peace and harmony," he said.