M A I N   N E W S

5 killed in Andhra communal violence
Curfew in Hyderabad areas

Hyderabad, December 7
At least five persons (six, according to UNI) were killed and 25 injured, three of them seriously, in communal violence and police firing in the trouble-prone old city, prompting the authorities to impose indefinite curfew in eight police station areas early today.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who visited the violence-hit areas and injured persons in hospitals, said that a judicial inquiry would be ordered into the incident.

The police opened fire at Gowlipura, Sultansahai, Moghalpura when teargas shells and lathicharge proved ineffective to control the mob indulging in stabbing, loot and arson late last night.

Two persons died due to stabbing while three others were killed in the police firing during the violence that erupted last night, Mr Naidu said, adding 25 persons, including six policemen, were injured in the clashes.

Of the injured, four were hit by stones while 19 received bullet wounds, official sources said.

The police had earlier said that six persons were killed during violence.

Rapid Action Forces have been deployed in the riot-hit areas to maintain peace and order.

Commissioner of City Police R P Singh reviewed the situation in wee hours and decided to impose curfew in eight police station areas, including Shalibanda, Moghualpura, Bhawani Nagar, Chatrainaka, Meerchowk, Rein Bazar and Dabirpura.

Mr Naidu also had a meeting with top police officials to take a stock of the situation. Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and state Health Minister K Sivaprasad Rao also visited the injured in hospitals.

The communal tension was triggered over differences between warring groups of two different communities over hoisting of black and saffron flags near a masjid in the Sultanshai area, Mr Naidu said.

Terming the incident as “unfortunte” he said Hyderabad city become a model city in the country for its development and maintaining communal harmony since a decade.

“It has to be probed whether it was a spontaneous reaction or planned one by vested forces for their selfish design”, Mr Naidu added.

Without naming any political party Mr Naidu warned them to restrain instigating the people for their selfish gain.

He maintained that many people were hurt in the police firing because the rioting mob had switched off four power transformers in the Nashemannagar, Gowlipura, Shalibanda and Talab ka Katta before attacking the houses and plunging the localities in darkness.

Expressing concern over new tendency of disrupting power supply by miscreants, Mr Naidu said it was a serious matter and asked forensic experts to take fingerprints on transformers to identify the persons who indulged in this act. An additional force of 21 platoons of the CRPF has been requisitioned to be deployed in sensitive areas in old city, he said, adding that his government would not leave any person responsible for flare up and firm action would be taken against those responsible for the disturbance. — PTI

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