Hyderabad, April 8 (IANS) Police imposed curfew in some parts of the communally sensitive old city of Hyderabad Sunday following clashes between two groups.
The situation in the riot-hit parts remained tense but under control till late evening as the indefinite curfew continued, police said.
The trouble began in the morning when two groups belonging to different communities clashed at Kurmaguda, after some pieces of an animal were found near a place of worship.
Agitated over this, a group went on the rampage attacking house, shops and burning vehicles and pelting stones at buses of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation. Five people were injured.
Ten houses, shops and 20 buses were damaged in the attacks. Few vehicles were also torched. Police used teargas shells and baton to disperse the clashing groups.
As the violence spread to adjoining Saeedabad and Champapet areas and group clashes continued in narrow lanes, the police imposed curfew and went on an alert across the city.
No untoward incident took place after police imposed curfew in Madannapet and Saeedabad police station limits in the afternoon. The situation in the rest of the communally sensitive old city was peaceful.
Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy, who called on the injured at a hospital, told reporters that the situation was fully under control.
Police have imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code, banning assembly of five or more people. Students appearing for Class 10 examination would be exempted from the curfew.
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi urged the home minister to provide extra security in sensitive areas for smooth and peaceful conduct of the examination.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner A.K. Khan, who visited the riot-hit areas, told reporters that the curfew was imposed to bring the situation under control.
The police chief warned the miscreants and appealed to people not to believe in rumours and cooperate in maintaining peace.
Additional police forces including paramilitary personnel were deployed in the violence-hit areas. Police intensified patrolling in Charminar and surrounding areas, which turned deserted as the rumours spread like wild fire.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and the home minister reviewed the situation with Director General of Police (DGP) Dinesh Reddy.
Dinesh Reddy also visited the riot-hit areas in the evening. He said the rioters were identified and they would soon be brought to book. "There is no question of sparing the miscreants no matter how powerful they are," he said.
A statement from the chief minister's office said he reviewed the situation with the DGP, the police commissioner and District Collector N. Gulzar and directed them to closely monitor the situation.
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