Odisha's Bhadrak witnessed communal violence over a derogatory Facebook post against a Hindu deity. Photograph: (ANI)
About 20 people have been detained in connection with the violence which left several shops gutted and vehicles damaged
The federal government reportedly rushed 2000 paramilitary personnel to contain the communal violence in Odisha's Bhadrak town , two days after protests broke out following a derogatory Facebook post against Hindu deity Lord Ram.
The government also called on chief minister Naveen Patnaik to step up his efforts in containing the violence.
About 20 people have been detained in connection with the violent incidents which left several shops gutted and vehicles damaged, a media report said.
Twenty companies of paramilitary personnel were dispatched to Odisha, media reports said quoting official sources.
A company of paramilitary force comprises of around 100 personnel.
The Odisha government had earlier sought the deployment of four companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) from the federal government in the strife-torn district.
Section 144, which prevents unlawful assembly of people, was imposed in Bhadrak today (April 8).
"I'm requesting the Chief Minister of Odisha to prevail upon the situation and instruct the administration to be neutral and fair and to take care of all the segments and sections of society. This is the time to have patience and faith on the system," federal Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told ANI.
He further appealed to the citizens of Bhadrak to maintain calm and be patient, assuring them that he had spoken to home minister Rajnath Singh. The petroleum minister assured that the federal government was extending its complete support to Odisha.
Fresh violence erupted in some areas Friday evening after talks failed to resolve the row triggered by alleged abusive remarks on social media against a particular community.
Though Section 144 was imposed in the town, officials had to clamp curfew as the situation deteriorated further.
About 15 platoons of police have also been deployed in the town.
Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar, who was scheduled to attend a function in Bhadrak today, cancelled his trip after requests by the local police.
(WION with inputs from agencies)