While recent disturbances in the old city have kept the police on tenterhooks, officials are also worried about a new aspect that is quietly developing in the city. The reason that is leaving them in jitters is that teenage boys in the old city, and not a group of hardcore ruffians, are on the vanguard of the stone throwing incidents.
In the last few weeks the police caught more than ten minors for stone pelting near Charminar and in a case of damaging a religious flag at Kulsumpura. Many more were identified with the help of video footages gathered through different sources.
Meanwhile, those caught by the police turned out to be students and considering their future and age, they were handed back to their parents, but not before counselling them about the ramifications. A few were having a single parent, a Special Investigation Team official said.
Apart from the police officials who are finding it difficult to deal with the minors, the community elders are worried over what they regard as a disturbing trend. Many feel it is mainly lack of awareness and failure of the parents to keep a check on their children that is landing them in such situations.
“It is the duty of the parents to take note of the activities of their children. A little bit of awareness about the ramifications of indulging in such situations will surely work for their good,” feels Dr. Fakhruddin Mohammed, secretary, MESCO. He feels increasing educational facilities and access to jobs would also prevent youngsters from resorting to such kinds of activities.
Educationists feel that children are easily brainwashed and are asked to resort to such activities. “In certain pockets of old city it is mostly the elders who instigate children to indulge in such activities for their personal motives. The police and NGOs have to identify such areas and create awareness,” says Farooq Taher, general secretary, Hyderabad district of Andhra Pradesh Primary Teachers Association. Many children are coming to Mecca Masjid just to witness and indulge in the disturbances out of mere curiosity, he adds.
Community elders are unhappy with the Mecca Masjid becoming famous for Friday disturbances. “The religious heads should dissuade youngsters from resorting to such activities from such a sacred place,” says Mohammed Jameel Ahmed, Income Tax consultant and chairman NAAM foundation.