Row over putting up of flags continues to simmer with fresh incidents being reported
The violence that erupted at Moosabowli in the old city here following a dispute over putting up flags on Saturday night continued to simmer with fresh incidents being reported in several localities in the old city and its environs.
Twentyeight persons, including video and photo journalists, were injured after mobs attacked them. Police resorted to firing of rubber bullets at Moosabowli and Shamshergunj to control the rampaging mobs.
Police Commissioner A.K. Khan told reporters later that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) would investigate the incidents and 70 persons were already taken into custody. Mobs set afire a shop and two wheelers at Gowliguda Kaman. In all, five vehicles were damaged in the violence. A goshala was also torched at Shamshergunj. Panic griped the residents of old city following rumours of communal clashes spreading, through SMSes. As tension escalated, shopkeepers in commercial areas of Siddiamber Bazar, Begum Bazar, Gowliguda, Afzalgunj and M.J Market rolled down the shutters.
Trouble over flags
On Saturday night, communal tension flared up over erection of flags by a community and objections by another in Moosabowli. Soon, this led to arguments and stone pelting in Hussainialam and Mylardevpalli in Rajendernagar, Siddiamber Bazar and Afzalgunj.
Small gangs armed with sticks moved around menacingly in some lanes beating up whoever they came across. Equipment of a daily's photographer too was smashed in the melee. Few shops were also selectively targeted and burnt by mobs in Begum Bazar, eyewitnesses said.
The situation turned worse at Siddiambar Bazar main road in the afternoon when some persons hurled stones on a religious structure triggering tension in the adjoining areas like Gowliguda and Begum Bazar. A vain bid was made to torch a petrol pump but alert staff thwarted it at Afzalgunj. There were reports of some places of worship being targeted at Kandikalgate, Afzalgunj, Shamshergunj and Enginebowli.
CM reviews situation
Chief Minister K. Rosaiah asked the police officials to ensure that there were no further untoward incidents in the twin cities ahead of Hanuman Jayanthi scheduled in the next two days.
Soon after returning from his tour of Krishna district, Mr. Rosaiah held a high level meeting of senior police officials. The meeting attended by the Home Minister P.Sabitha Indra Reddy, DGP R. R. Girish Kumar, Police Commissioner A. K. Khan, IG (Intelligence) M. Mahender Reddy saw the Chief Minister making it clear that there should be no compromise in maintaining law and order situation in the old city.