Internet suspended after new clashes in the city of Odisha; schools, shops closed

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A day after a clash between two communities in the mining town of Joda in Keonjhar district of Odisha, there was more violence late Tuesday night.

Police said two groups threw rocks at each other on the Joda-Baneikala road, followed by a road blockade at Saheed Nagar Chhak in the area during which vehicles belonging to the police and fire department were vandalized, prompting authorities to extend the internet ban in the city until Thursday, officials said.

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“No less than 16 police force platoons have been deployed. The CrPC Section 144 restraining orders continue and internet services will also remain suspended until Thursday. All educational institutions and shops have been closed,” said Barbil sub-division police officer Himansu Behera.

Following the fresh clashes, Keonjhar district police staged a flag march in the locality on Wednesday. On Tuesday, district police had called for a peaceful intervention between the two communities, but only a handful of people showed up.

On Monday afternoon, two groups clashed over raising the Ram Navami flag at a temple in the market area of ​​Baneikela, a Muslim-majority neighborhood in Joda town.

Permission to raise a flag was denied late Sunday night, police said, however, on Monday around four people went to the Shiva temple where they were allegedly assaulted by members of the other community. In the clash that followed, about ten people from both sides were injured.

No FIRs were filed in either case, police said.

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