The Hyderabad Forum for Telangana has appealed to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to check the potential for communal violence in the city, as a result of inaction on the part of government agencies in the protection of the Charminar.

In a statement, Rama Melkote, convenor of the forum, said it was the failure of the State government and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in checking the “illegal construction” at the Bhagyalaxmi temple abutting the Charminar which had vitiated the atmosphere in the city.

The communal tension that had gripped the city since October 31 was a result of this construction activity, which had become a source of concern to all secular and peace-loving individuals. Charminar is a national heritage monument and it belonged to everyone.

Condemning the construction activity, the forum convenor said it was deplorable that the ASI had failed to act in dealing with the erection of such structures. The ASI must acknowledge that there was no temple for nearly 400 years and that a stone first appeared at the base of the monument in the mid-1960s, which soon became a focal point of communal violence in the city. She also appealed to Union Minister for Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch to direct the ASI to exercise firm control over Charminar and protect public spaces and monuments.