Situation in riot-hit areas of Old City here remained peaceful for the third consecutive day today with authorities deciding to relax curfew for nine hours from Monday.

“Curfew will be relaxed from 8 am to 5 pm in all the zones from Monday. The situation will be reviewed on a regular basis and once it is normal, the curfew will be lifted completely,” Hyderabad City Commissioner of Police, A K Khan, told reporters.

However, intense patrolling would continue in trouble-torn areas in the Old City and night-time curfew would be in force, he said.

Mr. Khan, who is monitoring the situation, also played cricket with locals for a while near the famous Charminar in Old City.

Violent clashes between two communities had led to the imposition of indefinite curfew in 17 police stations of South Zone from March 29 and eight police stations of West, Central and East zones from March 30.

Meanwhile, curfew was relaxed for three hours in all the 25 police station limits in two phases today, enabling people to come out and buy essential items.

However, people complained that they were being “virtually looted” with necessary items like vegetables being sold at exorbitant prices.

Daily labourers and roadside vendors, who were hit hard due to the curfew, wanted the government to completely lift it and ensure that the prices of essential commodities were kept under check.

“Due to the curfew, we are facing problems for last several days. Essential items are being sold at more than double the normal prices and common man is at the receiving end,” said a woman, who came out to buy essential items during the curfew relaxation period.

Two people were killed and over 90 persons sustained injuries in the communal clashes that witnessed arson, stabbing, heavy stone pelting and burning of vehicles.

Around 350 persons were taken into custody and 190 cases registered in connection with the riots.