`Black day' passes off peacefully

HYDERABAD, DEC. 6. The 12th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition passed off peacefully here today with no untoward incident being reported. Amid fears of outbreak of trouble in the old city, the police made unprecedented security arrangements to curb any sort of violence.

The entire old city wore a deserted look right from the morning barring the presence of policemen and mediapersons. All the business establishments and schools remained closed.

As the noon prayers were about to commence, an unusual calm prevailed near the Mecca Masjid. Traffic was diverted through alternative routes. The police did not allow even mediapersons, especially photographers, near the mosque. Being Monday, the gathering at the mosque was somewhere around 250. Soon after the prayers, people dispersed quietly and once again traffic was allowed to proceed.

Black flags hoisted

At Madannapet and Saidabad, which recently witnessed violence, a large number of policemen and Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed at various points. Though the city police had banned hoisting of any religious flag or black flag, several black flags could be seen at various points in the Bhavaninagar, Talabkatta and Phisalbanda areas.

There were unconfirmed reports about some Hindu organisations celebrating `Shaurya Diwas' at one or two places in the city. They are believed to have distributed sweets and burst crackers.

The Police Commissioner, Dinesh Reddy, said it was the first time that December 6 had passed off peacefully.

He said there was a minor incident of a few youths throwing stones at the Vivekananda Nagar School at Moosarambagh forcing its closure.

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