Seven MLAs, MLC and several corporators belonging to MIM arrested

The decision of the government to allow covering of a shed over the Bhagya Laxmi temple abutting the historic Charminar with a tarpaulin sheet, citing the High Court order on Sunday, not only led to escalation of tension in old city, but also kicked up a political storm.

MIM supremo and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has declared that his party would now rethink on its support to the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in the State. The MIM hardened its stand on the temple issue after seven MIM legislators, an MLC and several corporators were arrested when they tried to march to Charminar in the morning after news broke out that the authorities had allowed the covering of the temple with a tarpaulin sheet.

Sensing trouble, police blocked all routes leading to the historic monument from morning and an undeclared curfew-like situation prevailed in several parts of the old city. The action of allowing the tarpaulin cover is being perceived as an attempt to help the temple committee by the authorities. However, the officials asserted that they were only implementing the court order that a status quo as on October 30 be maintained.

Angry residents of old city clashed with police several times and there were reports of repeated lathi-charges and attacks on city buses.