Situation under control in communaly sensitive Bhadrak

Bhubaneswar: Even as the Odisha government claimed that the situation was under control, police on Saturday staged a flag march in the communally sensitive Bhadrak town.

The town witnessed violence on Friday after derogatory comments on Ram and Sita were posted on a Facebook page. An indefinite curfew has been imposed in view of the volatile situation.

"Barring a few incidents of shop looting and ransacking, no large-scale violence or casualties have been reported so far. The overall situation is under control," said DGP K.B. Singh, who along with Home Secretary Asit Tripathy is camping here.

Singh appealed to the people to cooperate in maintaining law and order.

"People should not react to messages or rumours in the social media, rather they should help the administration in restoring peace," Singh added.

The administration had imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC to bring the situation under control.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also appealed to the people to maintain calm and peace in the town.

"I sincerely appeal to all in Bhadrak for peace & harmony; have directed stringent action against any attempt to disrupt peace," Patnaik tweeted.

Appealing to the people to maintain peace, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said he had apprised Home Minister Rajnath Singh of the situation, and assured all possible help to the state from the central government.