The Khargone administration has changed its previous decision and announced a relaxation in curfew for nine hours on Monday in the Madhya Pradesh city, where violence was reported during a Ram Navami procession on April 10, officials said.
Earlier, the administration had announced a 24-hour curfew on May 2 and 3 and asked Khargone residents to celebrate the Eid-al-Fitr and Akshaya Tritiya festivals at home.
But, Indore’s Divisional Commissioner Pawan Sharma and Inspector General of Police Rakesh Gupta reached Khargone on Sunday night and held a meeting with officials, following which the decision was changed.
The curfew in the city has been relaxed for nine hours – from 8 am to 5 pm – on Monday, Special Armed Force Commandant Ankit Jaiswal, posted temporarily in Khargone, told reporters late Sunday night.
Additional forces have been deployed to beef up security in Khargone, the IPS officer said.
The decision about 24-hour curfew on Tuesday is being reviewed in consultation with people, he said.
Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the culmination of the fasting month of Ramzan, will be celebrated in the country on Tuesday as the moon was not sighted on Sunday evening.
The festival of Akshaya Tritiya, considered auspicious for beginning new ventures, marriages and expensive investments such as in gold, will also be celebrated on May 3.
Curfew was clamped in Khargone after the violence on April 10, during which shops and houses were damaged, vehicles torched and stones hurled. Since April 14, the local administration has been relaxing the curfew for some hours.
As per the district administration’s order, the curfew relaxation will not be applicable to petrol pumps and for the sale of kerosene from Public Distribution System (PDS) shops.
During the curfew relaxation period, shops selling milk, vegetables, medicines, and barber’s shops among others, are allowed to remain open, but religious places have been asked to remain closed.
Passenger buses will be allowed to ply during curfew relaxation, the order said.