A day after three persons died in police firing following communal clashes at Rajendranagar, situation was under control on Thursday amid the watchful eyes of gun-toting policemen.

Authorities have decided to continue the curfew till 10 a.m. on Saturday, apparently to avert attempts by the two minority communities to prepare for a showdown vis-à-vis counting of votes and noon prayers on Friday.

While ensuring that the trouble-torn areas remained peaceful, special police teams raided houses and arrested 23 persons in five of 11 cases registered in connection with arson, attacks and property damage reported on Wednesday.

“Cases could go up to 20 or more as complainants continued approaching the police. Some more are yet to be arrested,” said Cyberabad Police Commissioner C.V. Anand. Arrangements were being made to allow supply of water and essential commodities to people. Some more persons accused of indulging in violence were picked up late in the night.

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad police heightened security at all communally-sensitive locations in old city, keeping in view the large number of ‘namajis’ assembling at mosques – including the Mecca Masjid near Charminar – for Friday noon prayers.

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