Tension escalated in the old city late on Sunday night after a mob indulged in heavy stone pelting at Shah Ali Banda forcing the police to resort to a lathi-charge and lob teargas shells to disperse them. Three police vehicles and the windowpanes of a few shops were damaged in the stone-hurling incidents.
Trouble began around midnight after rumours started spreading about a rally being taken out by the VHP and Bajrang Dal to Charminar Bhagya Laxmi temple from Sultan Bazaar.
A large number of people belonging to the other community gathered near Charminar.
The police who were already deployed across the old city in the wake of the prevailing tense atmosphere cordoned off the temple. The situation appeared to slip out of control after another rumour that the VHP rally was reaching Gulzar Houz and people began to surge ahead.
When the police told them firmly that there was no such rally, the mobs retreated but began hurling stones near Shah Ali Banda.
The police vehicles which were trying to chase away the miscreants came under attack and their windscreens were damaged.
Meanwhile, miscreants disconnected the power supply to streetlights and using the cover of darkness the mobs continued to hurl stones on the police from the lanes. The stone-pelting continued for about 20 minutes until additional forces rushed to the spot and lobbed a few teargas shells and dispersed them.
Later, the police intensified patrolling in Moghalpura, Khilwat, Hussaini Alam, Haribowli, Shah Ali Banda areas. Majlis MLA Ahmed Pasha Quadri visited the area.