After communal clashes over desecration, Chapra peaceful amid tight security
The riot-torn north Bihar district headquarters town of Chapra was peaceful on Sunday, a day after clashes broke out between two communities over reports of ‘desecration’ of a place of worship.
However, officials said there were stray incidents of brick batting in the rural areas of the district on Sunday.
The station house officer (SHO) of Maker was suspended for failing to contain group clashes, which started from the block after a video showing religious entities in bad light went viral in the social media on Friday.
Bihar DGP P K Thakur said 25 persons had been arrested thus far for various offences, including two charged with circulating the posts on WhatsApp. “Adequate reinforcements have been sent to Saran, including rapid action force (RAF) and ITBP, to help the local police,” he added.
Reports said train services were disrupted at Daudpur while some unscrupulous elements indulged in brick batting, burnt tyres and blocked roads at Ekma, Nayabazaar and a few other places in the district.
There was an ‘uneasy calm’ in Chapra town, where Saturday’s clashes had the police resorting to firing in the air and lathi-charge. However, there were signs of return to normalcy with market places witnessing activity from afternoon.
The clashes on Saturday took place during a day-long bandh called by locals called to protest against the objectionable video. After DM Deepak Anand was injured in the brick batting at Karimchak locality, a flag march was staged by the RAF jawans in the town.
Internet services have been suspended in the district till 6 pm on Monday while section 144 has been imposed till August 8.
Sources said peace meetings were held in the town at various places to restore harmony among communities in the district, a stronghold of the RJD chief Lalu Prasad, whose party, the RJD, is a partner in the state government.
Saran SP Pankaj Raj said on Sunday that no untoward incident had been reported from any part of the district with heavy force deployment in the town and rural areas of the district. “The situation is normal now,” he said.
Other police officials said the administration had started identifying the rumour mongers while a case under section 67 (A) of the Information Technology Act and section 295 (A) (for hurting religious sentiments) of the IPC was registered against three named persons.
Two companies of RAF, two companies of ITBP and heavy contingent of district armed police have been deployed in the district to restore normalcy in the district and initiate prompt action against trouble makers, source said.