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No processions on Hanuman Jayanti in Odisha’s Sambalpur this year: Official

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Sambalpur (Odisha), Apr 10 (PTI) The Sambalpur district administration in Odisha has decided that no processions will be taken out during Hanuman Jayanti this year in view of the violence that took place last year and the upcoming general elections.

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The district administration on Tuesday held a peace committee meeting to decide on the restrictions on the celebrations to ensure harmony, and law and order, considering the incident of violence that happened during a motorcycle procession on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti on April 14, 2023.

The meeting was held in the presence of district collector Akshay Sunil Agrawal, SP Mukesh Bhamoo, Sambalpur Commissioner Vedbhushan, other officials of the administration, members of Hanuman Jayanti Samanwaya Samiti and representatives of different communities.

Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Agrawal said, “A decision was taken by members of all communities that no grand processions or bike rallies will be held in any of the festivals, be it Hanuman Jayanti, Ram Navami or Eid." However, the communities can celebrate the festival in their respective localities. To maintain the peace and harmony in the city, after the incident which took place last year, and to ensure smooth conduct of the upcoming elections, the decision has been taken for the larger benefit of everyone, he said.

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The district administration has assured people that adequate security arrangements will be made in sensitive areas for peaceful observance of festivals and also appealed to the public for their cooperation by refraining from gathering in large groups during festivals and curbing the spread of fake news or inflammatory messages on social media.

During a rally organized on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti last year, a clash broke out between the two communities outside a mosque in the Sunapali area.

Next day, internet services were suspended in Sambalpur to curb the spread of inflammatory messages.

Later, on April 14, while a Hanuman Jayanti procession was taken out in the city, several incidents of arson besides a murder was reported, following which a complete curfew was imposed across the city.

Normalcy was restored in the city gradually after around a week. PTI COR BBM SBN

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