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The district administration in Balasore, Odisha, has imposed a curfew following a violent clash between two groups, police reported on Tuesday. The curfew, which took effect from midnight on June 17 to midnight on June 18, aims to restore order in the town. 

The Balasore district administration has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in response to the clash, ANI reported. Authorities also suspended internet services in sensitive areas and urged residents to remain indoors, as per PTI.

Officials stated that Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi spoke with Balasore Collector Ashish Thakare on Monday, and directed immediate measures to control the situation, officials stated.

The conflict erupted when a group protested against suspected blood from animal sacrifice on the road in the Bhujakhia Pir area. This led to stone-pelting by another group, escalating the situation into a clash, according to police accounts.

Late Monday night, tensions flared in the city as violent clashes broke out between two communities. In Golapokhari, Motiganj, and Cinema Chhak areas, members of one community launched attacks on the homes of another, using stones, sticks, and glass bottles. The chaos escalated as people set vehicles ablaze.

The attackers did not confine their rampage to the main areas, but also invaded various villages, hurling stones at houses and setting them on fire. The situation became so volatile that the police were forced to resort to blank firing to regain control and disperse the crowds.

Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) Sanjay Kumar is currently stationed in Balasore. A police flag march was conducted, and approximately 30 individuals have been arrested so far. 

Police announced, “All entry points to the OT Road were closed,” and emphasised that “No person shall leave their homes or shall move on foot, or by vehicle or travel except for emergency medical aid.”

Balasore SP Sagarika Nath confirmed that, “Curfew has been clamped in Balasore municipality area. All commercial establishments and shops to remain closed.”

A senior police officer added, “Adequate police arrangements in the sensitive areas have been made, and the situation is getting under control, though some sporadic violence was reported in some places yesterday.”

(With Inputs from Agencies)