The process to assess the damage caused in Bhadrak was taken up on a priority basis on Thursday even as the number of arrests went up to 126 in connection with the violence over alleged abusive remarks against Hindu deities on social media.
Four teams, each headed by a Revenue Inspector, are assessing the loss and damage caused due to arson during the violence, Bhadrak district Collector Gyanaranjan Das said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, during his visit to the town on Wednesday, had directed the officials to make a detailed assessment of the damage and report within three days for providing financial assistance to the affected for livelihood restoration.
Meanwhile, curfew, which was imposed in the town on April 7, was relaxed for 10 hours from 7 AM on Thursday following an improvement in the situation, Das said.
As the police cracked down on trouble-makers and those who indulged in arson, as many as 126 people have so far been arrested in connection with the incidents of violence, Superintendent of Police Anup Sahoo said.
Raids were on to nab the miscreants, police said.
The ban imposed on social media websites in Bhadrak and nearby areas on April 9 was lifted on April 11 night.
Violence broke out in the town on April 6 after a group staged a demonstration near the Town police station, demanding arrest of those involved in posting alleged offensive remarks against Hindu deities on social media.
Though the administration clamped prohibitory orders, tension persisted and fresh violence was reported on April 7, despite a peace meeting. Escalation in tension prompted the administration to impose curfew on April 7.
Meanwhile, leaders of several political parties, including the Congress and the BJP visited the violence-hit areas of the town during the day and met the affected people.
While a five-member team of the BJP headed by state president Basant Panda visited the town, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Prasad Harichandan along with senior leaders Niranjan Pattnaik, Ananta Sethi reviewed the situation in the affected areas.
Leaders of both parties blamed the administration for the violence.
They alleged that the district administration and police had been “callous and failed to handle the situation properly”.
Besides demanding concrete steps to rehabilitate and compensate the affected people, the leaders sought stern action against those responsible for the violence.
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