Local authorities in Sonitpur district (Assam state) imposed an indefinite curfew from Wednesday, August 5, in parts of the district following clashes in the villages of Goruduba and Bharahingori. The curfew applies for areas under the jurisdiction of Thelamara and Dhekiajuli police stations. The clashes were linked to rallies held to celebrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi's controversial ceremony held on Wednesday at the Ram Mandir temple site in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh state). Several people were injured after locals objected to a bike rally as it proceeded to a local temple. On Thursday, August 6, the army held a flag march in the district as a show of strength following the unrest.
Further unrest is possible in the area over the near term.
The Ram Mandir temple is being built on the site of the Babri Masjid mosque, which was demolished by Hindu zealots in 1992. The site has been the focus of much religious tension in recent years. In November 2019, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Hindu community, allowing them to build a temple on the site. Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone for the construction of the temple on August 5.
Members in Assam state are advised to monitor the situation, adhere to all curfews and other special measures introduced by authorities, and maintain a heightened level of vigilance.
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