Tough police action ensured peace in the trouble-torn old city for the second successive day on Thursday and elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure the Friday prayers pass off peacefully.
The two-hour phased curfew relaxation in South zone on Thursday too was incident free though people raised a hue and cry over ‘fleecing by' vegetables vendors and sellers of essential commodities. No grace period was given to the relaxation.
Some ventured out onto roads even after curfew relaxation time, only to taste the baton charge of police.
The police did not allow youths to come onto the road in the first 30 minutes of curfew relaxation. Eventually, they gave up unable to regulate the huge crowds that filled junctions and main routes. “We're not coming out for fun. I had to buy medicines for my family members but they are instructing me to go away. Why this relaxation then,” asked Raju of Laldarwaza.
The biggest turn out was at Falaknuma junction. It was near stampede situation here with hundreds fighting to purchase milk sachets and vegetables. The Commissioner's Task Force sleuths had to intervene convincing people to form queues to clear chaos. Police Commissioner, A.K. Khan, patrolled several localities on foot assessing the situation.
Meanwhile, the police top brass drafted a massive security scheme for the Friday prayers while continuing the hunt for the accused persons in communal clash cases. Despite the past two days passing off peaceful, police believe the noon prayers are crucial as intelligence reports suggested that there could be huge gatherings leading to tension.
Armed police pickets were posted at mosques and close-by religious structures of others to prevent clashes and damage to property. Police decided not to relax curfew on Friday in any part of city but that means remaining indoors for more than three days for people living in the jurisdiction of eight police stations of West zone and one each in Central and East zones.