Normality is finally returning to old city, where communal tensions had surfaced recentlywhile shops were allowed to open near Charminar on Thursday after being forced to close for four consecutive days.

The prohibitory orders imposed a few days ago, in parts of old city, following communal clashes over the alleged expansion of Bhagyalaxmi temple at Charminar, were relaxed from noon.

This partially diffused the tense atmosphere in central parts of old city and in commercial localities which were shut for the last four days. Though the Charminar area was not bustling with activity, hawkers and pushcart vendors made their appearance and were seen trying to sell articles. Roadside eateries too could make some business.

Meanwhile, the Bhagyalaxmi temple attracted hundreds of devotees. The queues of devotees continued to build all through the day. Wednesday being the beginning of the auspicious ‘Kartika masam’, there were many women who wanted to pray at the temple.

“Not many were allowed the previous day to visit the temple on Deepavali . That is why people in large numbers thronged the temple for the traditional harati,” a devotee said. The barbed wire fencings and steel barricades were shifted to the side from the middle of roads at different points facilitating the obstruction-free movement of commuters.

The large contingents of policemen deployed at Charminar and other places were withdrawn but not completely. Rumours about communal tensions continued to spread in the morning. “Many called asking if mobs were pelting stones at each other in the morning at Charminar. I told them nothing of that sort had happened anywhere,” a police officer said.

Mild tension prevailed earlier in the morning after miscreants partially damaged three small roadside temples near Dobighat in Falaknuma.

Stone pelting

Trouble broke out at Gowlipura vegetable market around 9 p.m. on Wednesday with mobs of two communities pelting stones at each other following alleged burning of a flag. Three vehicles were reportedly damaged in the attacks.