Curfew relaxed in Bihar town

Patna, Aug 15 (IANS) With no fresh communal clashes reported in the last two days and the situation returning to normal, curfew in Bihar's Nawada town was relaxed Thursday, police said.

Curfew was imposed Monday following clashes between two communities that claimed two lives and left six people injured.

"Curfew was relaxed from 5 a.m. to 12 midnight Thursday in view of Independence Day as the situation is normal now," Nawada Superintendent of Police M.S. Dhillon said.

"The district administration has made elaborate security arrangements during curfew relaxation to keep a close watch on the situation," he said.

Curfew was relaxed for two hours - from 4 to 6 p.m. - Wednesday.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Amit Lodha of the Criminal Investigation Department is leading the investigation into the communal violence. Four police complaints have been lodged in this connection.

Officials suspect that two local leaders, involved in illegal stone quarrying in the district, of inciting communal hatred as part of business rivalry, a police official said.

The National Security Act would be invoked for preventive detention and swift action against troublemakers, officials said.

Dhillon said 39 people have so far been arrested in connection with the violence.

Police resorted to firing Monday when a mob attacked the Bundelkhand police station in Nawada, about 150 km from here.

Communal tension erupted Friday when an altercation over the menu occurred between a group of kanwarias (Hindu pilgrims) and another community at a roadside eatery in Nawada. Clashes continued Monday after the death of a 20-year-old youth who was injured in police firing.


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