By Web Desk

An altercation after finding the water of a local drain turned red, which led to the suspicion of cow slaughter, escalated to a clash between Hindu and Muslim community members in a sensitive part of Balasore town in Odisha, prompting the authorities to enforce a curfew on the festival of Bakrid, according to The Indian Express.

Initially, authorities imposed prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 in specific areas but subsequently extended the curfew to the entire town to prevent further escalation.

The incident began when residents noticed water in a local drain turning red, leading to suspicions of animal blood contamination due to alleged cow slaughter. This suspicion triggered altercations between the two communities, which quickly escalated to stone pelting.

The clashes resulted in injuries to several policemen and civilians and caused damage to a few vehicles.

34 individuals from both communities were arrested, with the number expected to increase as investigations continue. The state government responded by deploying 43 platoons of police in the town, with an additional 15 platoons being mobilized. Senior police officers, including four IPS officers, have been sent to oversee the situation.

In a bid to prevent the spread of misinformation and further unrest, the state government also suspended internet services in Balasore and nearby areas. The administration assured that essential services, including ambulances, would remain operational despite the curfew.

Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi engaged with the Balasore collector to ensure a swift resolution and emphasized that public order in Odisha, known for its peace-loving nature, would be maintained. The district administration has been actively conducting peace committee meetings with local residents to foster communal harmony and prevent further incidents.

This story was originally published in