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Rintu Das | HENB | Hailakandi | May 10, 2019:: Curfew has been imposed as clashes broke out between Hindus and Muslims in Hailakandi town of Southern Assam on Friday, the police said.
“As many as seven persons have been injured in stone pelting in the clashes. Those injured include three government officials,” said Mohneesh Mishra, Superintendent of Police, Hailakandi referring to the clash which erupted during the Friday prayers.
“Following emergency like situation curfew has been imposed by the district administration…,” a statement by the district administration said. Later in the evening, the curfew which was initially enforced in town was extended to the whole district till May 12.
Keerthi Jalli, the Deputy Commissioner Hailakandi said curfew has been imposed as “there exists strange relation between groups who are trying to indulge in violence and create communal violence…”
The district administration said central forces, including the Assam Rifles and the CRPF, have been deployed in the city even as the district administration has sought the help of the Army to bring the situation under control.
The incident happened during the afternoon prayers on the first Friday of Ramzan in Marwaripatti area of Hailakandi town over people trying to offer Namaz on the road outside the mosque, according to Mohneesh Mishra, Superintendent of Police.
The move was objected to by the locals belonging to the other community and a clash ensued. “There was stone pelting too. We had to resort to baton charge to control the situation as the situation was getting violent,” Mishra said. Locals claimed there was arson, shops were targeted and vehicles set on fire by the angry Muslim mob.
The small mosque in Marwaripatti, a mixed neighbourhood in the market, Mishra explained, has been in the middle of the controversy since earlier this week when the locals who had come to offer Namaz had complained that the locals objected the parking of bikes and cars causing public inconvenience and later the seats of the some motorbikes were found cut with a blade.
The incident, which was reported to the police, locals say, went viral on social media. Mosque mikes were used several times to incite the Muslim people against the Hindus time and again.
Anticipating trouble, the managing committee of the mosque on Thursday had dissuaded people from turning up in large numbers for the Friday prayers and brought forward the time of the Namaz. Yet, a local said the crowd turned up and finding the gate of the packed mosque locked tried to offer Namaz on the road outside following which clashes broke out.
“It looks like the handiwork of some miscreants,” said Mishra adding the situation has indeed taken a communal turn. “We are investigating the incident and will arrest those who are responsible,” he said.
“There is no need to worry. The situation is under control. Police and administration are on alert to avert any kind of incident,” District Magistrate Keerthi Jalli told the media.
Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya has appealed for peace and harmony after the incident.
“The problem can be solved amicably without creating violence. I plead to people of all the communities to help in maintaining law and order. If there is an issue, the administration and police will take action,” Suklabaidya said.