Curfew in Old City Areas of Hyderabad After Clashes
An indefinite curfew was today clamped in some parts of the walled city here following communal clashes over alleged desecration of a religious place.
At least five persons were injured in incidents of stabbing and stone-pelting involving members of two communities, police said.
Curfew was imposed in Madannapet and Saidabad in Old City and will continue till further orders, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police V Dinesh Reddy said.
Tension erupted in the morning following reports of alleged desecration of a religious place in Kurmaguda, wherein some devotees complained that they found "meat" and green-coloured water near a place of worship.
Enraged members of the community took out rallies that culminated in stone-pelting. As the news spread, members of other community too assembled in large numbers and also indulged into heavy brickbatting against each other and at houses in Kurmaguda besides the communally sensitive areas of Madannapet and Saidabad, thus prompting police to cane charge and burst of teargas shells to disperse marauding mobs.
"There are no deaths," Reddy, who visited the trouble-hit areas along with Hyderabad Police Commissioner A K Khan and other senior police officers, said and appealed to people to maintain communal harmony and not to fall prey to rumours.
Reddy said a massive drive was underway to arrest those responsible for the incident, adding, "We are picking up offenders and the situation is now peaceful and public are requested to pass on information on communal offenders who are holed up in these areas."
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy also reviewed the situation in Madannapet and Saidabad areas accompanied by Reddy, Commissioner of Police A K Khan, district collector N Gulzar and other senior officials and directed them to closely monitor the situation.
Miscreants also pelted stones on buses damaging glass-panes, besides setting on fire at least two vehicles, while two incidents of stabbing were also reported, police said.
Earlier, city police commissioner A K Khan said that the police were constantly reviewing the situation and keeping a close watch in sensitive areas by deploying additional forces.
As a precautionary measure and to prevent spreading of disturbance the police have imposed curfew, he said expressing hope that the situation will return to normalcy in couple of days.
Khan warned that police will not hesitate to arrest leaders if they found to be indulged in instigation or spreading unrest and added that so far the police have picked up some persons for questioning.
Reacting to a query, Khan said those appearing for SSC and other examinations will be allowed to reach the exam centres in the curfew-hit areas.
Following the communal disturbances, shops and commercial establishments downed their shutters in parts of Old City even as police barricaded the roads in the sensitive areas.
It was after a gap of two years that authorities have imposed curfew in the communal sensitive Old City.
Curfew remained in place for several days in parts of Hyderabad in March 2010 after members of two communities clashed over erecting a religious flag even as three members of a community were killed in the clashes that left several injured.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today reviewed the situation in Madannapet and Saidabad areas accompanied by the Director General of Police Dinesh Reddy, Commissioner of Police A K Khan, district collector N Gulzar and other senior officials and directed them to closely monitor the situation.
As per the chief minister's instructions, the DGP visited the areas of the Old City and reviewed the law and order situation with police officials. The chief minister asked the Hyderabad district Collector to provide medical treatment to the injured.
Reddy was informed that the situation was fully under control, a release from CMO said.
The chief minister further appealed to people to observe restraint and help the administration in maintaining peace, law and order, it said.
He also asked officials to take stringent action against the miscreants responsible for Madannapet incidents and to book all culprits and maintain law and order and see to it that the situation is brought to normalcy immediately, the release added.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy told reporters that the situation was under control and that the government is prepared to deal with any eventuality.
"Steps will be taken to see that untoward incidents don't recur. We have deployed additional force. Those trying to perpetrate communal clashes will not be spared. My appeal to people is not to believe in rumours. Situation is under control and officials are ready to face any situation," she said.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy reviewed the situation with ministers and top officials again tonight. He directed the officials to take all necessary steps to see that the situation returned to normalcy soon.
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