Communal violence spread to new areas in western Hyderabad on Tuesday, forcing the authorities to extend the curfew to eight more police station areas. Life was affected in the curfew-bound areas on Tuesday.
The new areas under curfew are Afzalgunj, Begumbazaar, Shahinnayat Gunj, Tappa Chabutra, Asifnagar, Mangalhat, Kulsumpura and Habibnagar.
One person, believed to be a businessman, was beaten to death by a mob at Karwan of Old City. A teenager suffered rubber bullet injuries at Begumbazaar, and more than two dozen people were hit by stones.
The police fired shots in the air, and rubber bullets on the mobs at Begumbazaar Chatri as the situation appeared to slip out of control when people of different communities came face to face. Group clashes occurred at Mangalhat and Santoshnagar too. Attempts to loot shops and stoning of religious places on main roads and bylanes continued unabated at several places.
Though the situation appeared to be normal till afternoon, save for sporadic incidents of stone-throwing, tension escalated by 2 p.m. after the police allowed a Bajrang Dal procession from Gowliguda to Tadbun in Secunderabad. Despite the volatile situation, the police were caught unawares as there was not enough force to control the procession. Those participating in the procession targeted vehicles and shops en route.
It became a free-for-all when the procession reached the Spencers' Mall at Musheerabad, as the nominal policemen deployed remained mute spectators.
However, an alert police officer stationed two jeeps to block the road and managed to prevent a confrontation. More than 30 vehicles, including transport corporation buses, were stoned, and six vehicles were set on fire, along the procession route, at Musheerabad, Kavadiguda, Gandhinagar, Bansilalpet and Ramgopalpet.
Commissioner of Police A.K. Khan, who visited Musheerabad later, said: “Some groups are deliberately creating trouble. Special teams are on the look-out for them, and nearly 130 people have been detained.”