Govt suspends internet service in Kendrapara

Kendrapara/Bhubaneswar: The state government Wednesday suspended internet services here for 48 hours amid possible escalation of tension over an ‘objectionable’ social media post. “The net connectivity has been withdrawn from urban areas from 3 pm Wednesday for 48 hours,” said a senior officer of the home department. 

“We were forced to take recourse to the precautionary step so that peace may not be breached in the sensitive areas. Some residents petitioned me alleging that a social media post shared by a local man here has hurt their sentiment,” Kendrapara collector Muralidhar Mallick told the media.

He said the administration had asked the cyber cell of the Crime Branch to investigate the content and the origin of its posting. The district collector said the situation was peaceful in Kendrapara town with normal life going on as usual.
“The recent violence in Bhardak, however, has prompted us to go for the internet blackout as there is every possibility of rumour mongers going on overdrive through the social media to breach peace in the area,” he said.

Earlier, tension erupted in the communally sensitive town following posting of a defamatory video in social media against a particular community.
People of a minority community assembled at Fakirabad here Wednesday morning and protested the act of hurting their religious sentiments. Anticipating a law and order situation in the town, Kendrapara SP Dayanidhi Gochhait, sub collector Kanhu Charan Dhir, SDPO Kedarnath Sahu along with a police team rushed to the spot.

Hundreds of minority people came to the district collector office to hand over a memorandum demanding action against the culprits. The district collector and SP organised a meeting with the minority community members at the district conference hall and appealed people to maintain peace and harmony in the township.

“Necessary action would be initiated against those who posted the controversial video on Facebook. The district administration assured people steps will be taken against those who posted the defamatory video and hurt the religious sentiments of a particular community,” said Mallick.

Meanwhile, minority community members lodged an FIR at Kendrapara town police station. When contacted, Gochhait said “Police have registered a case by taking the matter seriously. Kendrapara police have taken the help of the cyber cell to conduct a probe and reach the bottom of the issue. Later, necessary action would be initiated against the accused.”

The situation is absolutely under control. To prevent worsening of law and order in the district, five platoons of police have been deployed in the town. The authorities are keeping a close watch on the situations. The district collector has written to the special secretary of home department to suspend internet service in the district for next 48 hours. PNN

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