Police caught by surprise when namazis do a U-turn and try to rush towards temple

The police on Friday came in for a shock when the namazis, after the prayers, did a quick ‘U’ turn and headed for the Bhagyalakshmi temple abutting the Charminar instead of proceeding towards Madina building as anticipated. This triggered a clash and resulted in a see-saw battle for the next one hour between the stone-pelting mobs and the police.

As the police started lobbing teargas shells the crowds retreated towards Madina. After clearing them, police focused on other namazis standing in front of the Charminar police station who refused to leave despite repeated warnings.

Meanwhile, the RAF team aimed teargas shells on the mobs gathered on the road leading to Kotla Alijah and then Chudi Bazar. In just 15 minutes, all the four roads were cleared of the protesters who retreated into the lanes and by-lanes and began damaging whatever came their way. Strewn with the agitators’ footwear and stones showered by them, the otherwise bustling Charminar roads resembled war zones.

Heavy stone pelting was reported from Rethi Masjid in Reinbazar, Brahmanwadi in Yakutpura and Syed Ali Chabutra. A woman was among five persons injured in stone pelting.

Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said 40 persons were detained . “We will examine footage of the surveillance cameras installed at different places to identify the accused involved in the arson and property damage cases,” he told reporters. He said six police vehicles were also damaged at Madina junction, Gulzar Houz, Khilwat and Itebar Chowk.