Police had to resort to firing that killed 3 people in the midst of communal riots in Kishanbagh on the outskirts of the Old City of Hyderabad. Indefinite curfew was imposed in Rajendranagar police station area under Cyberabad Commissionerate in Hyderabad.
The clashes took place near the Sikh Chhawni near Bahadurpura, adjacent to the Old City, after some Muslim miscreants burnt a Sikh flag (Nishan Sahib) early this morning, allege Sikhs of the area. Tension gripped the area as some Sikhs retaliated by attacking two youths, blaming them for the incident, and burning properties of Muslims.
The police have, however, refused to reveal the communal identity of the flag burners. “Around 6:30 am, a group assembled and attacked people. As both groups, armed with swords and boulders clashed, we ordered BSF to fire in the air. Those who were at some height from the ground level were hit; 3 people have died in the firing. The injured are stable,” Cyberabad Joint Commissioner of Police Y Gangadhar said. The police said firing in the air was necessary to bring the situation under control.
The attacks went on unabated even in the presence of police. After lobbing some tear gas shells, police opened fire on a mob, resulting in the death of 3 persons who are yet to be identified. AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi has demanded arrest of the BSF jawans who had opened fire. He has asked the Andhra Pradesh Government to set up a probe by a sitting High Court judge into the incident. AIMIM MLAs and the MP have toured riot-hit Kishanbagh.
As tension spread to the adjoining areas of the old city of Hyderabad, police imposed prohibitory orders. Additional police and paramilitary forces were rushed to the troubled area.
Shopkeepers in the markets around the historic Charminar downed shutters while police stepped up patrolling. Personnel of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed in the communally sensitive old city. Several RAF vehicles were seen moving into the interior areas as a precautionary measure.
At least 7 people, besides a few police personnel, were injured in the incidents. City Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma told reporters: “There was an incident of rioting between two groups and right now the situation is totally under control. We are ensuring that it does not have any other and further repercussions,” he said. “We are ensuring that there is peace and tranquillity in the city. Patrolling vehicles are on the move to maintain law and order. We will ensure that no (such) further incidents take place,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan reviewed the law and order situation at a meeting with senior police officials.