Communal tensions that arose during the Ram Navami celebrations resulted in the imposition of prohibitory orders in Sasaram and Bihar Sharif towns. These towns serve as the headquarters of Rohtas and Nalanda districts, respectively.
In Sasaram, where Union Home Minister Amit Shah was scheduled to attend a function on Sunday, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Manoj Kumar ordered imposition of Section 144 on Friday afternoon after the re-eruption of clashes, which first broke out the previous evening.
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“Several shops and vehicles have been torched or vandalised in areas like Shahajalal Pir, Sona Patti, Qadir Ganj and Navratna Pir where angry mobs also indulged in heavy stone-pelting, injuring many people, including two police personnel,” said the SDM.
Heavy deployment of forces is in place and senior officials like Deputy Inspector General of Police Naveen Chandra Jha, District Magistrate Dharmendra Kumar and Superintendent of Police Vineet Kumar were patrolling the affected localities, issuing appeals for peace.
“We are relieved that the situation is now under control. Though we wish the administration had been more vigilant and pro-active and not waited till things began going out of hand,” alleged Chhedi Paswan, the local BJP MP, who has been camping in view of the programme of Shah.
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In Bihar Sharif, which falls in the home district of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Section 144 was imposed after communal tensions and clashes in areas like Gagan Deewan, Mansoor Nagar and Nabi Nagar left more than 10 people injured and over a dozen vehicles and shops gutted.
“We appeal to the people to stay calm. We are also examining CCTV footages to identify and bring to book troublemakers,” said Nalanda District Magistrate Shashank Shubhankar.
Meanwhile, the State police headquarters issued a statement debunking reports in a section of the media that gunshots were fired by irate mobs.
It also said a close watch was being kept on social media to thwart rumour mongering as this can raise communal tensions.
(With agency inputs)