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Parts of Hyderabad tense after communal clash

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | December 04, 2003 16:22 IST

One person was beheaded and five others were injured in a clash between two minority communities in Kishanbagh near the Old City of Hyderabad today.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, prohibiting the assembly of more than four persons, were clamped in the area.

According to police officers, the clash ensued after a religious flag in the Kishanbagh locality in the Rajendranagar police station limits was burnt.

At around 0530 IST, the shop-cum-residence of a petty trader was burgled. Subsequently, another miscreant burnt the flag, called the Nishan Sahib.

Enraged, scores of Sikh youths armed with swords went on the rampage in the area in the morning. They beheaded a 25 year-old autorickshaw driver and beat up the inmates of several houses, set fire to three shops and three autorickshaws, looted a hotel, burnt an Islamic flag, and damaged two police vehicles, three private vehicles, and 13 autorickshaws.

Two persons, including an elderly man, sustained sword injuries in the attacks.

In retaliatory action, a youth was stabbed in the neck with a knife. Two others were also stabbed. All the injured persons were admitted to the Osmania General Hospital, where the condition of one, Gyan Singh, is said to be critical.

Police reinforcements were rushed to the affected areas. Cyberabad Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy ordered his men to fire in the air to disperse the clashing groups. Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed in the area and armed police pickets were posted at sensitive spots. Patrolling was intensified.

The area was tense after the clashes. Majlis-e-Ittehaadul Muslimeen ex-MLA Asaduddin Owaisi rushed to Kishanbagh and tried to pacify the two groups. Elders from both communities later appealed for restraint and peace.

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