Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed by the Hailakandi distrit administration of Assam after a communal clash between two communities hit the town early Friday morning. People in Hailakandi town went into panic mode after the clash broke out in front of a mosque, located at Kali Bari point of the town, leaving 15 persons injured. Of those injured, 1 person has sustained bullet injuries and the condition of three are said to be critical.
"Assam: Sec-144 (prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in an area) has been imposed until further order by Dist admn in Hailakandi town after clashes between 2 groups, earlier today in which one person sustained bullet injuries. Several cars and bikes were set on fire and shops were vandalised," the news agency ANI reported.
Assam: Sec-144 (prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in an area) has been imposed until further order by Dist admn in Hailakandi town after clashes b/w 2 groups,earlier today in which 1 person sustained bullet injuries.Several cars&bikes were set on fire&shops were vandalised pic.twitter.com/31krpjHm6W— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2019
The trouble started after a group of people visited a mosque in Marwari Patti area to offer Friday namaz but some of them had to stand outside due to shortage of space. However, they decided to offer prayers on the road outside the mosque, but the administration raised objections citing traffic issue in the area. Soon after, the administration and the group of excluded members involved in a war of words and the situation took a violent turn for the worst.
As many as 15 vehicles were also set on fire while 12 shops were vandalised in different parts of the town to protest against the Friday mosque prayers being held on road. Some of the people present at the scene also pelted stones during the argument.
In the wake of this grave situation, a curfew was clamped in the Hailakandi town at around 1:00 pm in the afternoon and was later extended to 6:00 pm, anticipating grave risk and danger to human life and properties.
Speaking to media, Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli said police attempted to disperse the protestors by firing in the air in which 15 people were injured and taken to hospital.
A tense situation arose that "necessitated immediate action for the maintenance of public peace and tranquillity, Jalli said, adding that no one has been arrested in connection with the incident till the time.
Though the situation was brought under control, tension continues to prevail in the town and Jalli has sought the Army's help to maintain peace.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 empowers an executive magistrate to prohibit an assembly of more than four persons in an area. Every member of an unlawful assembly can be held responsible for a crime committed by the group.