Tension palpable as memories of Mecca Masjid blast haunts Old City
Consequent to an appeal by the community leaders to avoid big congregations and carrying bags and covers to the mosques, the turnout at the historic Mecca Masjid was very low on Friday, a day after two bomb blasts ripped Dilsukhnagar and resulted in 16 casualties.
About 3,500 people offered Friday prayers at the mosque. With memories of Mecca Masjid blast revisiting the minds of the people, tension in the air was quite palpable in the Old City.
As a precautionary measure the police heightened the security at the Mecca Masjid for Friday prayers. Bomb Disposal (BD) squads and police sanitised the mosque and its surrounding areas. Namazis were frisked before being allowed inside to offer prayers.
The police did not allow people to park their vehicles in front of the mosque at the time of prayers.
Though the markets were open, there was hardly any crowd due to the fear of blasts. Shopkeepers complained of low customer turnout during the day. The popular tourist places also sported a deserted look.
The bandh call given by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) evoked little response in Old City and was limited to Lal Darwaza, Gowlipura and Uppuguda areas. Shops and commercial establishments here remained closed for most part of the day.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, south zone, Tarun Joshi supervised the security arrangements.
Speaking to media personnel Mr. Joshi said that security was tightened at the Mecca Masjid in view of the twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar on Thursday. He said that the police force was deployed in the Old City and the police are on high alert.