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Hyderabad MP wants ACP suspended
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | May 19, 2007 12:15 IST
The powerful local organisation, the Majlis-e-Ittehaadul Muslimeen, has called a bandh on Saturday to protest against the incident and firing.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Balwinder Singh said, "The death toll is 14 -- 10 in the bomb blast and four in the police firing. One or two more persons are serious. The situation in the city is peaceful. The police have made adequate security arrangements."
Hyderabad MP and MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, however, contended that more people were killed in the police firing than in the blast.
"While five persons lost their lives in the blast, nine persons were killed when the police resorted to firing when youngsters came onto the streets to protest," he told rediff.com
"There was no need for excessive use of force and police firing. The assistant commissioner of police, Charminar, showed highhandedness and reckless behaviour in dealing with the emotionally surcharged youth who had gathered to protest the bomb blast at the mosque," Owaisi alleged.
"This was totally uncalled for. People are angry at the blast and the firing. Our first demand to the state government is to suspend the ACP immediately. His continuance ill create more problems. Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy should order a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the blast and police firing to assuage the feelings of the people and take them into confidence," he added.
"Merely announcing ex-gratia compensation will not bring the victims back to life. Both the blast and police firing show that neither the culprits behind the blast nor the police have any respect for human life. The government must initiate action immediately on our demands. Otherwise, the situation may become difficult as the people are emotionally surcharged. We are doing our best to control the situation and we won't allow it to deteriorate," Owaisi said.
Prem Panicker adds from Hyderabad:
Doctors at the Osmania Hospital, when asked about the toll, were reluctant to speak about the number of people killed in the blast and the police firing.
"We have to look after the injured first. Then we will have to wait for the post mortem reports before ascertaining how many people were killed in the blast and how many in the police firing," a doctor said.
The police now accept that some people were killed in the police firing in the old city. On Friday, officials maintained that nobody was killed in the firing and that the police only fired in the air to disperse the crowds and restore calm. They also claimed that they had used rubber bullets.