Coordinated efforts of police, parties and NGOs bear fruit
HYDERABAD: Less number of vehicles plying on the main roads, few customers at shops, limited bus services, uneasy calmness and presence of large contingents of the police. All this suggested that there could be outbreak of violence soon after completion of `Zohar' prayers in old city on Friday. But nothing of that sort happened, thanks to the coordinated efforts of police, political parties, voluntary organisations and peace committees.
The `padayatra' conducted by MIM legislators Akbaruddin Owaisi, Mumtaz Khan and Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri in and around Charminar, hours before the commencement of prayers, instilled confidence in the minds of people. The MLAs, accompanied by their followers, went around sensitive localities appealing to people to maintain peace and harmony.
Instead of depending on the use of force, the police this time changed their strategy and instead began speaking to the crowds, rather politely.
When `namazis' rushed out of the mosque towards Charminar raising slogans, some worried youngsters started running to Charminar bus-stop. During normal course, the police would have resorted to lathicharge to control the youths. Instead, Additional DCP Ch. Ramchander, who was leading the police contingents, waved at the youngsters and asked them to cool down. "Nothing to worry. Don't run. We'll not use any force," he appealed.
In fact, the police officers kept tear gas shells and rubber bullets ready if the situation goes out of hand. But the restraint they observed and their polite manners helped defuse the tension.
Permitting the slogan-shouting youngsters to surge towards Charminar, however, created trouble as they stoned policemen and the shops at Gulzar Houz. MIM Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi picked up an argument with CID DIG Sandeep Shandilya alleging that police were irritating people by moving in interior places.