Curfew was imposed in Jeypore in Koraput district of Orissa on Saturday as group clashes between students flared up into a major conflict between the Hindu and Christian communities.
Mobs ransacked the Jeypore town police station, burnt police and other vehicles and beat up the Koraput SP and the Jeypore sub-collector.
The CRPF was called in when the situation went out of control. Two civilians were injured in police firing.
Tension arose in the afternoon when students noticed a graffiti demeaning the Christian community on the wall of Vikram Deo College.
A clash between two groups of students ensued, with locals from both communities joining in. The situation got out of control when the police lathicharged the crowd.
A mob then surged towards the policemen, who fired in the air. However, bullets hit two men, causing serious injuries.
Thousands of enraged people then attacked the town’s police station and ransacked it completely.
Two police jeeps, a bus and a truck were burnt. Koraput SP Deepak Kumar and Jeypore Sub-Collector Sarat Chandra Nayak were inside the police station, were assaulted by the mob.
Nayak was admitted to a hospital. Sunabeda DIG Sanjiv Panda and Koraput Collector Balakrishna Sahu rushed to the spot but were stranded on the way as the mob had blocked the national highway connecting Koraput and Jeypore.
DIG Panda told HT: “We have asked for another one company of CRPF personnel,” he said.