Internet suspension period extended in Odisha’s violence-hit Sambalpur, total arrests at 85

The administration relaxed the curfew timings, as the window period for people to go out of their homes for daily activities was rescheduled from 7.30 am to 11.30 am and 3.30 pm to 6 pm,

Published - April 17, 2023 02:04 pm IST - Bhubaneswar/Sambalpur

Security personnel during a curfew imposed in Sambalpur, on April 15, 2023.

Security personnel during a curfew imposed in Sambalpur, on April 15, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

The district administration of violence-hit Sambalpur in Odisha extended the period of internet services’ suspension by another 24 hours till 10 am of Tuesday, even as the total number of arrests rose to 85, officials said.

However, in view of the “improved situation”, the administration relaxed the curfew timings, as the window period for people to go out of their homes for daily activities was rescheduled from 7.30 am to 11.30 am and 3.30 pm to 6 pm, they said.

Earlier, the relaxation period was from 8 am to 11 am and 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm.

Sambalpur District Collector Ananya Das said the home department took the decision to continue with the internet suspension for another day — till 10 am of Tuesday.

Internet services were suspended in the district on April 13 after the initial bout of violence in the run-up to a Hanuman Jayanti bike rally, to curb circulation of inflammatory messages and prevent misuse of social media, she said.

Meanwhile, with the arrest of six more people, the total number of those apprehended for their alleged involvement in violence in Sambalpur during Hanuman Jayanti celebrations increased to 85, police said.

DGP Sunil K Bansal said he is optimistic that the curfew is likely to be lifted within two days, as the city is gradually limping back to normalcy.

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