Five shops set ablaze in Kulsumpura; ten injured in clashes

Tension gripped the communally sensitive areas of the old city after clashes between groups of two communities erupted late on Monday night. At least 10 persons, including three police officers, were injured in stone-hurling incidents and five shops were set ablaze by miscreants in different areas in Kulsumpura police station limits.

Heavy contingents of police were moved into Kulsumpura, Dhoolpet, Mangalhat, Ziaguda, Jhirra, Sabzimandi, Karwan and other areas, while patrolling was stepped up in other areas of the old city as members of the two communities indulged in heavy stone pelting in Kulsumpura following reports that some flags pitched at religious places were burnt by members of the other community.

Row over flags

Tension had been building up in these localities from Sunday night after some flags at a religious place were allegedly removed by the other community.

On Monday too, similar complaints were voiced by one community which flared up leading to heavy gathering of people in the lanes and bylanes. The slogan-shouting mobs hurled stones at each other and the police used canes repeatedly to disperse them. However, it turned out to be a see-saw battle between the miscreants and the police in the labyrinthine lanes and bylanes of the locality. Shops were set afire in Sabzimandi locality and fire tenders could not immediately reach the spots. Trouble was, however, confined mostly to Sabzimandi locality, though the surrounding areas were enveloped by tension. Police closed down the shops and ordered people not to come out on to the roads in Mehdipatnam and other localities too.

ACP among injured

Police said Goshamahal ACP D. Srinivas was among the injured policemen. Senior officers, including Additional CP Amit Garg, rushed to the spot to personally monitor the situation.

The situation remained tense when reports came in last. By midnight, tension was again building up with many women coming out of their homes in Kulsumpura alleging that the police were picking up youngsters from homes selectively. Karwan legislator Afsar Khan, who rushed to the place, was mobbed by women who raised slogans.

Tension has been palpable in sensitive areas of the city for the last one week or so in the State capital with leaders of the two communities flexing their muscles over several issues, including the slaughter of cows during Bakrid. Bholakpur and Mushirabad localities witnessed group clashes five days ago. Just as the situation was returning to normalcy, there were fresh developments in Kulsumpura.

Keywords: communal clash