Authorities maintained a tight vigil in Tappal on Monday suspending internet services and deploying additional forces, a day after police thwarted attempts by right-wing groups to hold a "mahapanchayat" in the town against the brutal murder of a toddler.
The Circle Officer (CO) of Tappal area, Pankaj Srivastava, was transferred on Monday as a fallout of the events of the past few days. Police also denied reports of migration of Muslims from the area, saying "a few persons may have moved out temporarily, but they will return shortly".
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Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) remained clamped in Tappal, which falls under Khair tehsil, due to the fear of a communal flare-up as officials warned of strict action against spreading of inflammatory messages or videos on the social media.
District Magistrate (DM) Chandra Bhushan Singh ordered suspension of all Internet services in the entire Khair tehsil area till midnight, an official release said on Monday. Following the brutal killing of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl in Tappal, some mischief-mongers had been spreading rumours and circulating fake video clips on the social media, the release said, adding that these posts were likely to inflame communal passions.
The police were monitoring all such posts and strong punitive steps would be taken against all anti-social elements, the DM said.
The police struggled to keep the situation under control in Tappal throughout Sunday, as protestors mounted pressure on the authorities for meting out "instant justice" in the murder case of the girl, which has sparked a nationwide outrage.
People from the neighbouring districts tried to reach Tappal to attend the "mahapanchayat" but were prevented by the police.
"The situation is under control. We will not allow anyone to create discord under the garb of genuine protest," Special Superintendent of Police (SSP) Akash Kulhari said. He said action had been initiated against some persons for allegedly misusing social media platforms to fan communal passions.
The SSP denied reports of migration of Muslims from Tappal, saying "a few persons may have moved out temporarily, but they will return shortly".