HAILAKANDI, May 10 - The Army has been called in to maintain peace even as indefinite curfew was clamped in Hailakandi today following a clash between two communities during namaaz. At least 15 persons were injured in the clash and three of them have been sent to Silchar Medical College and Hospital in critical condition. At least 20 vehicles, including e-rickshaws and motorcycles, were damaged and set ablaze by the agitated mob. Incidents of arson, looting and damage of business establishments have been reported from several places.
Indefinite curfew has been clamped in the entire district, Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli said in a statement.
CRPF and Assam Rifles have been deployed in trouble-torn and sensitive areas. The administration has sought the help of the Army to bring the situation under control. The DC has appealed to everyone to exercise restraint and maintain peace and tranquillity.
The district administration has also called the Army to control the situation throughout Hailakandi district.
A large number of people today gathered for performing the first namaaz after the start of Ramadan at a mosque at SS Road of the town. They wanted to perform prayers outside the mosque also when police on duty obstructed. The people started pelting stones and came out with sticks. The clash started between two groups. Police lathicharged and fired in the air to disperse the rampaging mob, which damaged vehicles and set ablaze many shops and business establishments.
It was allegedly publicized in social media that all should perform namaaz en masse in SS Road Mosque on Friday in protest against the cutting of seats of motorbikes two days back outside the mosque by miscreants. The matter was under investigation, a police officer said.
Meanwhile, in view of sudden spurt of violence in Hailakandi today, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced an inquiry into the incident. He directed Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Bora to conduct the inquiry and submit the report to the government.
Further, as per direction from the Chief Minister, Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, ADGP Mukesh Agarwalla and Commissioner of Barak Valley Region Anuwaruddin Choudhury have already headed for Hailakandi to take stock of the situation.
The Chief Minister, while reviewing the situation, also directed the administration to take all necessary measures to quell violence.