NATIONAL

Curfew to be eased in Hyderabad

HOPE FOR PEACE:Amid heightened security people move freely at Musheerabad in Hyderabad on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

Staff Reporter

Normality prevails in all localities of 25 curfew-clamped police stations

HYDERABAD: After being tense with communal clashes for the last three days, peace returned to Hyderabad on Wednesday under the shadow of gun-toting policemen.

Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy announced after a review meeting with Chief Minister K. Rosaiah in the night that curfew would be relaxed on Thursday morning in 17 police stations of old city. Eight other police stations will continue to remain under curfew.

Barring stray attempts to create trouble by mobs, normality prevailed in all the localities of 25 curfew-clamped police stations and other communally sensitive areas. Police were strictly not allowing any movement of civilians and they detained vehicles plying without permission.

Extensive patrolling

Entry points to curfew-imposed areas were closed with barbed wire fencing. Extensive patrolling was conducted in all trouble-torn areas with public address warnings that any violent act would attract swift action. Senior officers too patrolled sensitive localities on foot.

As many as 119 persons were injured in stone pelting and clashes from Saturday night to Wednesday. One person sustained bullet injury and six more got hit by rubber bullets in west Begumbazar.

Bholakpur in Musheerabad, which witnessed clashes following a Bajrang Dal rally on Tuesday, saw youngsters gathering in groups violating curfew orders. Police immediately dispersed them.

People in the curfew areas complained about non-availability of essential commodities. Some even staged a demonstration at Shahalibanda urging the government to “either provide essential commodities or relax curfew”. The police took on the onus of selling vegetables in such localities through ‘mobile bazaars'.

Later, Ms. Sabitha Indra Reddy said directions were issued to departments concerned to ensure availability of essential commodities of rice, milk and vegetables in rythu bazaars, besides ensuring adequate water supply.

Police said 186 persons were arrested in connection with the 67 cases registered so far in connection with the violent incidents.

However, no arrests were made in the two communal murders reported at Shahalibanda and Tappachabuta. Video footage of TV news channels was being made use of to identify rioters at Musheerabad.