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After witnessing devastating violence, life returning to normal in Bhadrak
The power of social media can be realised by looking at the communal violence that erupted in Bhadrak, a small sensitive town with a sizable Muslim population in the state of Odisha on April 6. The derogatory comment by a Muslim youth on Facebook took a lot of people by surprise.

Violence erupted after Bajrang Dal alleged that some Muslim youth had posted objectionable comment on Lord Ram on Facebook. The tussle which could have been resolved by merely filing a complaint in the police station led to a such a large scale communal violence.

It is, however, not for the first time that such an incident has occurred in the town. In 1991, a similar kind of riot had taken place during Ramnavmi, disturbing the law and order of the town. But, unlike the 1991 riot which had claimed 17 lives, fortunately this April riot didn't lead to any loss of life expect for the rampant devastation and loss of property. However, a lot of similarities can be found between the 1991 and 2017 riots. In 1991, Biju Patanaik was the chief Minister of the state when the riot had broken out and now his son, Naveen Patanaik is the chief minister.

It was seen that even after great hue and cry, the police initially remained mute spectator for some time which disturbed the law and order of the town even more. The curfew was imposed for several days. A ban was also imposed on using social media. The normal life style of the innocent public was disturbed. While several stories on the Hindu-Muslim divide were flashed on various news channels and newspapers there are several untold incidents of Hindu–Muslim brotherhood which were never published.

Security forces have been deployed in the town including RAF and CRPF to maintain law and order in the district.

With time, the situation is limping back to normal and people have started leading their normal lives. Ban on social media was lifted after 48 hours. Banks, educational institutions, government offices etc have opened.

Amid in nine-hour relaxation period of curfew, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Pataniak visited the violence-hit area. He interacted with the affected people and enquired about the damage and promised that the government would take strong action against the culprits and appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony.

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