Hailakandi: The indefinite curfew in Assam’s Hailakandi has been further extended to 7 am of May 14 in view of the law and order situation in the district, officials said Sunday.
The curfew was to be in force till 7 am on Monday, as per earlier orders of the state government.
District Magistrate Keerthi Jalli had ordered relaxation in curfew in the entire district from 12 noon to 3 pm, as no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the last 24 hours.
“The overall law and order situation will be reviewed and a decision will be taken whether to lift the curfew after 7 am tomorrow (Monday),” another senior official said.
During the three-hour relaxation of the curfew, most shops and business establishments remained closed and only private vehicles were seen on the roads.
Internet services, too, remained suspended in Hailakandi, Karimganj and Cachar districts of the Barak Valley since Friday night.
“The services will resume only after assessing the situation on Monday,” said an official.
Following the clashes on Friday, curfew was imposed initially in Hailakandi town from 1 pm and later extended to the entire district from 6 pm, as the authorities apprehended breach of peace and tranquility.
One person had died in police firing and at least 15 people were injured, while more than 15 vehicles were damaged and 12 shops vandalised and set on fire in some parts of the town.
The district administration has begun assessing the damages to shops and properties.
Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said due compensation will be given by the state government after assessment of the extent of damage.
To bring back normalcy and instill confidence among the people, the Rapid Action Force (RAF) has been deployed in Hailakandi town and elsewhere.
The Army and other paramilitary forces were also deployed in the district.
The Assam government has instituted a one-man inquiry panel headed by Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar Bora to conduct a probe into the incident.
Hailakandi Superintendent of Police Mohneesh Mishra said the first and foremost priority of the administration is to restore normalcy, and then identify the miscreants behind the violence.
Jalli claimed that the incident is the “handiwork of some miscreants” and not a communal flare up as “there exists unity and amity among the communities” in the district.
Trouble started when a group of people decided to hold the Friday noon prayers on the road, located at Kali Bari point of the town, in protest against some motorcycles being damaged by people belonging to another community.
Police had to disperse the protesters initially by resorting to lathi-charge followed by firing in the air.