Indefinite curfew imposed in Saidabad and Madannapet
The relatively peaceful atmosphere in the State capital was shattered on Sunday morning after communal clashes broke out in old city areas, forcing the authorities to clamp indefinite curfew in Saidabad and Madannapet police station areas.
At least a dozen persons were injured in isolated cases of attacks, stone pelting and knifing incidents reported from Saidabad, Madannapet, Champapet, Hari Bowli, Talab Katta and neighbouring localities. Police used force repeatedly to quell riotous mobs after lobbing of teargas shells proved ineffective.
The outbreak of communal violence clearly caught the police forces off-guard. Massive force deployment had ensured the peaceful conduct of Hanuman Jayanti on Friday, but as the police vigil waned and the deployments withdrawn by Sunday, trouble-mongers were out in the open. Tension gripped Saidabad in the morning after devotees noticed the burnt parts of an animal carcass thrown into a religious place.
As emotional devotees gathered and indulged in stone pelting and sloganeering, the tension escalated and spread to other areas. Within no time, groups began gathering in lanes and bylanes of different areas as far as in Kandikalgate or in Talab Katta and attacked innocent passersby. Sporadic incidents of arson were also reported.
The three knifing incidents were reported from Saidabad locality. Two of the victims who hail from Madhapur area were returning from a wedding when they were stabbed, while the third passerby was a resident of Madannapet. All the three were shifted to a corporate hospital. Elsewhere attacks and stone hurling incidents were reported from Hari Bowli, Talab Katta, Khilwat, Chawni Nade Ali Baig, Zakir Hussain Colony, Chanchalguda, Rein Bazar, Santoshnagar and Kurmaguda. It took sometime for the police to move in additional contingents into the troubled areas. But by the time the police managed to gain some control over the troubled areas it was near noon and till then mobs had a free run.
As usual, the city buses bore the brunt of the mob fury and 18 buses were damaged in stone-pelting incidents forcing authorities to suspend operations on the Saidabad and Madannapet routes.
Commissioner of Police, A.K. Khan, who was to hand over charge to Anurag Sharma and proceed for his four-week training was asked to remain in saddle. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy later in the night appealed for restraint and claimed that the situation was under control. Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy too reviewed the situation.