Hyderabad, Dec 6 (IANS) The leader and activists of a Muslim group were arrested here Saturday when they tried to take out a rally to mark the 16th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, police said.
Darasgah Jihad-o-Shadat (DJS) chief Mahboob Ali and his supporters were arrested in Moghalpura area in the old city when they tried to take out a rally, defying the prohibitory orders in force.
DJS, which trains Muslims youths in self-defence and also champions the cause of jihad and martyrdom, has been organising a rally every year at Indira Park outside the communally sensitive old city.
However, this time the police denied permission to the group in view of last Wednesday's incident in which a former activist of DJS and terror suspect opened fire on the police, injuring two constables.
Mahboob Ali and 10 other DJS activists gathered at their office and were about to start a rally demanding reconstruction of Babri Masjid, when the police arrested them.
Earlier, they set afire an effigy symbolising the Rashtriya Sweyamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Talking to reporters, the DJS chief denied that his organisation was breeding terror and claimed that it was only training youths in self-defence.
He said the demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya gave birth to terrorism in India and demanded that the mosque be rebuilt at its original site. 'The injustice is the root cause of terrorism,' he said.
The day passed off peacefully amid unprecedented security. Muslim political parties had called for a shutdown.
While Muslim groups observed it as 'black day', the right-wing Hindu groups like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists celebrated 'vijay diwas' or victory day. VHP leaders and activists were seen distributing sweets and organizing special 'puja' in few localities.
The police did not allow Muslim organisations to put up black flags in some areas in the old city of Hyderabad.
No untoward incident was reported from Hyderabad or other parts of Andhra Pradesh. However, tension prevailed in Adilabad town when Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) tried to take out a procession. The police have arrested MIM activists.
It was a total shutdown in the old city of Hyderabad and other Muslim majority areas in the city. Shops and educational institutions were shut and roads wore a deserted look.
The usual hustle-bustle around the historic Charminar and Mecca Masjid was missing. There were very few vehicles on the roads, while the bangles and bridal wear market Laad Bazar, hotels, jewellery and pearl shops, and the cloth market were shut.
Over 15,000 police personnel, including those from the paramilitary Rapid Action Force, were deployed to deal with any eventuality. A large number of them were deployed in the communally sensitive old city, which has witnessed violence on this day in the past.
Muslims constitute 40 percent of the city's seven million population and they are an overwhelming majority in the old city.
Read More: Adilabad