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Hyderabad: Tension in old city after clashes

Monday, March 29, 2010 04:31:44 AM, IANS

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Hyderabad: Parts of the old city of this Andhra Pradesh capital Sunday remained tense after religious clashes between two groups, which left 13 people injured Saturday night.

Paramilitary Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel and state police forces were deployed in Moosa Bowli, Hussaini Alam, Purana Pul, Begum Bazar and surrounding areas to prevent any untoward incident, police said.

Police commissioner A.K. Khan, who visited the old city late Saturday night, Sunday said the situation was now peaceful with no fresh incident.

Incidents of stone-pelting and attacks on places of worship, houses, shops and vehicles were reported well past midnight while some people were seen vacating their houses in sensitive areas.

Thirteen people, including two journalists, were injured in stone-pelting and police lathicharge. Two vehicles were set afire and about a dozen were damaged by the mobs.

Trouble began in Moosa Bowli when members of a community were allegedly putting up saffron flags after removing the green flags installed recently during a festival. The heated exchange of words snowballed into clashes between the two groups.

Police used batons to disperse clashing groups armed with sticks and stones.

Local legislators of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) and leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reached the areas. MIM legislator Ahmed Pasha Khadri alleged that police not only remained a mute spectator to the attacks on the houses of the minority community but also resorted to unprovoked baton charge on youth.

However, BJP leader G. Ramaswamy said some people created trouble by taking objection to the installation of saffron flags on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanthi. The minority community was not stopped from putting up flags during their festival, he added.

The two communities by and large live in peace and harmony in the city, which has not seen any major communal riot for two decades.









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