ANDHRA PRADESH

Life in the sad lane

THE DAY AFTER: Two terrified children peeping through the window of their home at Aliabad on Sunday. - Photos: A. Roy Chowdhury

THE DAY AFTER: Two terrified children peeping through the window of their home at Aliabad on Sunday. - Photos: A. Roy Chowdhury  

THE DAY AFTER: Two terrified children peeping through the window of their home at Aliabad on Sunday. - Photos: A. Roy Chowdhury

HYDERABAD DEC. 7. The cries of the little one asking for milk in a Shalibanda household said it all. The situation in adjoining Gowlipura was no different with people yearning for their morning coffee and tea.

Life in the areas falling under the limits of eight police stations in the old city, where curfew was clamped, was tough. In most of the areas regular supply of milk was hit. Getting vegetables was a problem. Fetching water, too, was a problem although officials of the Metrowater Board claimed there was no problem. "Alternate day supply of drinking water is being maintained and we are ready to despatch tankers wherever required. Our men are constantly moving in the areas and monitoring the position," a senior official said.

However, at many places in Sultan Shahi, Gowlipura and Shalibanda, there were long queues of women with pots in hand. "We have problems even on normal days. It gets compounded with the curfew in force," a woman bemoaned.

The municipal authorities claimed to have pressed into service special sanitation teams to keep the walled city clear of garbage and more importantly, of stones. But many of the inner roads were ridden with stones, contrary to the claims.

"It is about seven years since Hyderabadis have seen curfew being clamped. Most of them have erased it from their minds," a senior police officer observed. The special counter opened at the old Police Control Room was teeming with people from morning. Everyone wanted a pass to get across the Musi and into the strife-torn old city.

Our Staff Reporter adds: Most of the main roads and interior lanes were bereft of the usual Sunday crowd and the movement of police and other official vehicles overshadowed private vehicles. The roads were off bounds for RTC buses. Only the long-distance buses towards Kurnool and route nos. 74 and 80 of the City Region were allowed from Madina towards Rajendranagar.

"Unless there is movement of people there is no need to run buses," a RTC official said, adding that they did not want to run buses and run the risk of seeing them damaged.

Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner, R.P. Singh, has said while 19 of the total 25 platoons of the City Armed Reserve and the Andhra Pradesh Special Police had been deployed in the old city since last night, the force was strengthened with the deployment of 21 more platoons and three more companies of the Rapid Action Force. Khaki-clad and men in blue of the RAF were seen everywhere.

In the sensitive areas in South Zone brisk patrolling was continuing, Mr. Singh said, adding that instructions had been issued for firmly dealing with violence and ensuring that no untoward incident takes place. The police have formed special teams for investigation into the 18 cases that have been registered since the communal violence broke out on Saturday. The investigation would be under the supervision of the Deputy Commissioner (Special Investigation Team) and the Additional Commissioner (Crimes).

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