The Odisha Police has arrested 79 people for their alleged involvement in the violence in Sambalpur city during Hanuman Jayanti celebrations, officials said Sunday.
The situation is gradually limping back to normalcy in Sambalpur, where curfew is still continuing along with the suspension of the internet, they said.
Sambalpur SP B Gangadhar said there has been no report of any untoward incident since the curfew was promulgated in the city early Saturday. A number of accused persons are still absconding, police said.
While 26 people were arrested in connection with the stone pelting incident during a bike rally on April 12, 53 others have been taken into custody for violence and arson during the procession on April 14, Gangadhar said.
It appears to be pre-planned violence as per the indications received so far. More arrests will be made in future, he said. The state government has suspended internet services in Sambalpur district till 10 am on April 17, the SP said.
Odisha DGP Sunil K Bansal said stringent action will be taken against those involved in the violence, and expressed hope that normalcy will be restored in a day or two in the city.
The prohibitory orders, however, were relaxed for students and candidates of various recruitment examinations on Sunday, police said. Meanwhile, Union Minister Giriraj Singh said it is unfortunate that the state government has been adopting an appeasement policy while dealing with the case.
The government is shielding some people involved in the violence, he alleged. Countering him, Biju Janata Dal leader and MLA Amar Satpathy said the government has taken action as per the law.