Chhattisgarh: Biranpur village returns to normalcy two weeks after communal violence

Violence erupted at Biranpur, 100 km from the state capital Raipur, on April 8 after an altercation between schoolchildren.

Bemetara: Two weeks after communal violence flared up at Biranpur in Chhattisgarh’s Bemetara district, the village has limped back to normalcy as people are stepping out for routine work and shops have reopened.

But entry of outsiders is still restricted in the village where three persons were killed in violence earlier this month.

The police on Monday set up an `aid centre’ in the village to maintain law and order, an official said.

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Violence erupted at Biranpur, 100 km from the state capital Raipur, on April 8 after an altercation between schoolchildren.

A local resident, Bhuneshwar Sahu (22), was killed in the clash and three policemen suffered injuries.

Two houses on the outskirts of the village were set ablaze amid a Chhattisgarh ‘bandh’ (shutdown) called by right-wing organisations on April 10 to protest Sahu’s death.

The next day, Rahim Mohammad (55) and his son Idul Mohammad (35), residents of Biranpur, were found murdered a few kilometers away from the village with multiple injuries.

The violence prompted the district administration to impose section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), prohibiting assembly of four or more people, in the entire district.

Around 1,000 police personnel were deployed to maintain law and order in the village.

Following a peace meeting attended by people from both Hindu and Muslim communities in the village last week, barricades were removed and the police force was gradually withdrawn, a senior official said on Tuesday.

A ‘police sahayta kendra’ (aid centre) was opened on Monday in the village which falls under the Saja police station area.

About 15 police personnel will be posted at the centre, the official said.

The prohibitory orders under section 144 will be lifted in a day or two, he added.

People have returned to their routine work such as agricultural activities, and shops and vegetable markets have reopened, the official said.

Police are investigating all six First Information Reports registered at Saja police station in connection with the incidents in Biranpur, he said.

Eleven people were arrested for alleged involvement in Sahu’s murder while eight were arrested in connection with the killing of Rahim and his son.

Besides, eight persons were arrested for allegedly setting Rahim’s son-in-law’s house on fire. A minor has also been apprehended in connection with the crime.

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