Patna: Communal tension continues in several districts in Bihar following violent clashes during the immersion of Durga idols and Tazia processions, police said on Saturday. At least eight people, including police officers, were injured.
Railway services were disrupted, markets and schools shut down and internet service were suspended. Authorities imposed section 144 of CrPC in Gopalganj, Bhojpur, Madhubani, East Champaran, Madhepura and Kishanganj districts, the police said.
"In Gopalganj, communal tension entered second day on Saturday. The administration has imposed section 144 CrPC and temporarily banned internet services," a district official said.
The police arrested around 54 persons involved in anti-social activities from both communities from the affected districts.
Sensing trouble, additional security forces were deployed in sensitive areas and top police officials camped and supervised the localities, an official said.
According to reports, tension started on Friday evening when some persons pelted stones and fired at an immersion procession in Gopalganj town.
At least 10 vehicles, including five motorcycles and two SUVs, were torched and several shops were attacked by the violent mob.
Gopalganj District Magistrate Rahul Kumar said: "The situation is under control but tense. We are alert and keeping a close watch."
In Bhojpur`s Piro city the communal tension had started early and entered its fourth consecutive day on Saturday.
Bhopjpur District Magistrate Birendra Prasad Yadav said: "Internet services were banned to check rumours on social media since Friday morning."
"Some persons active on social media cites like WhatsApp and Facebook had spread rumours to incite people," he said.
Railway authorities diverted three passenger trains from Ara that passed through Piro, on way to Sasaram in Rohtas district.
Shops, markets and other institutions had remained shut despite an assurance by the administration on Friday to maintain order.
In Bihariganj in Madhepura, internet services remained suspended despite situation under control, an official said.
"Reports of communal tension gripping small towns are coming from Madhubani, Saran and Kishanganj," a police officer said.