A rumour over a fire incident in the main market at Dhamnagar sparked off communal tension in the town in Bhadrak district forcing the authorities to clamp prohibitory orders on Saturday.
“Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC were imposed and armed forces deployed in the town to maintain law and order and prevent any flare up,” superintendent of police Anup Kumar Sahoo said.
The situation is under control and no untoward incident has taken place, but prohibitory orders will remain in force at least till Sunday as a preventive measure, he said.
Tension surfaced in Dhamnagar and adjacent areas, Dobal and Palikiri, on Saturday morning as rumours spread in the town giving a communal colour to a fire that gutted some structures and rooms in the main marker late on Friday night, police said.
District collector Gyana Ranjan Das rushed to the spot and said the reason of the fire was yet to be ascertained and no FIR had been lodged by the affected people.
Meanwhile, the curfew remained in force for eight hours during the night with 16-hour relaxation in Bhadrak town where violence erupted on April 6 and 7 over alleged abusive remarks against Hindu deities on social media.
Over 235 have been arrested in connection with the violence, police said.