In response to escalating tensions in the district headquarters of Sarlahi, Malangwa, the District Administration Office (DAO) has imposed a curfew.
The curfew, which went into effect at 5 pm on Saturday, is expected to remain in place until 8 am on Sunday, according to DAO Sarlahi.
Tensions flared in the Malangwa market area on Saturday, stemming from clashes between two communities during the Krishna Janmashtami idol immersion on Friday evening. The curfew has been enforced in an effort to restore order.
Chief District Officer (CDO) Indradev Yadav has delineated the curfew boundaries, extending from the Jhim River in the east to the Nepal-India border in the south, the Musaili canal in the west, and the petrol pump in the north.
CDO Yadav explained that the situation in Malangwa remained tense throughout the day, prompting the imposition of the curfew to prevent potential nighttime incidents.
Although the situation seemed to normalize after midnight on Friday, tensions flared up again on Saturday morning, with angry youths staging protests, including burning tires at various junctions and roundabouts.
To regain control, a significant police presence has been deployed in the Malangwa market area. CDO Yadav emphasized that security measures had been heightened in anticipation of any untoward developments.
During the previous night, police had fired 16 rounds of tear gas and one round of aerial shots to quell the clashes. Law enforcement continues to intermittently employ tear gas to manage the situation.
Protests and stone-throwing incidents have erupted in inner neighborhoods, including the municipal square and the primary market area, with police struggling to maintain order.
Due to the tension from the previous night, the Malangwa market remained closed today, with most shops and businesses shut down and public movement minimal, including the suspension of public transportation services.
An all-party meeting held at the district administration office in the morning issued an appeal for the preservation of religious, ethnic, and cultural harmony.