Security has been tightened in Hyderabad ahead of Sunday's Ganesh immersion festival in view of the bomb blast in New Delhi and the communal riots in Adoni town of Kurnool district.
A senior police official told rediff.com that the security was already beefed up in Hyderabad in view of the incidents in Adoni town, which was rocked by the communal riots after a gap of thirty years. Additional police pickets and paramilitary personnel were deployed in all the communally sensitive areas of the city, especially in the old city.
In view of the bomb blast outside Delhi high court, security was being further bolstered and bomb disposal squads have been pressed into service to start monitoring the long route of the procession from Balapur to Hussain Sagar Lake. The procession will be a big test for the police as lakhs of people participate in it every year.
The riots in Adoni, which left about 100 people injured in clashes and stone pelting during the Ganesh procession, have set the alarm bells ringing in the administration as it has spread the tension in several other places especially in the communally sensitive towns and cities.
The communal trouble which started on Monday, continued on second day despite police clamping the curfew and opening fire. The firing left four persons injured and they have been admitted to the Kurnool district hospital.
The local people have alleged that the trouble broke out due to the failure of the police in making proper arrangements for the Ganesh procession. The trouble started when the participants of Ganesh procession beat the drums and played loud music outside a mosque when the noon prayers were on.
When Muslims objected to this, clashes broke out in which the stones were pelted from both the sides. The place of worship was damaged in the incident. Soon the trouble spread to several other parts of the town where the shops, houses and business establishments were targeted, looted and torched.
Local people also alleged that the police had become mute spectators when the gangs of the rioters went around targeting the properties and attacking the people. As many as ten trucks were also torched. They said that the root cause of the problem was permission of the police to change the route of the Ganesh procession and allow it to pass through Muslim localities. They also alleged that the riots were pre planned.
On receiving a spate of complaints against the police Kurnool member of Lok Sabha Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy tried to visit the town but the police did not allow him to enter the town.
In Hyderabad, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen floor leader in the state assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi met Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to protest against the failure of the police in controlling the violence in Adoni. He alleged that the rioters had a free run in the presence of the police and minority community was systematically targeted.
Kiran Kumar Reddy directed the Director General of Police V Dinesh Reddy to spare no force in controlling the violence and bringing the situation under control.
Inspector General of Police Santosh Mehra was rushed to the town to bring the situation under control and additional paramilitary force was rushed to the town.
Kurnool district superintendent of police Shiva Prasad said that situation as now returning to normalcy and curfew was lifted for one hour in the morning to allow the people to purchase the essential commodities. "We will give one hour relaxation in the evening also", he said.
Police have arrested sixty people including a Hindu Vahini leader and former corporator Devraj Singh and his won Dilip Singh. Local leader of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Mohammed Ismail was also taken in to custody.
The authorities were also keeping a close watch on the situation elsewhere in the state especially in Bhainsa town of Adilabad district where the riots during Ganesh procession three years ago had claimed four lives.
In Hyderabad, tension spread in Saeedabad and Madannapet areas Tuesday evening when the cloth wrapped around Ganesh idol caught fire. A group indulged in stone pelting alleging that miscreants had set it on fire. However, police swiftly brought the situation under control by using force and denying the rumours of arson.
Meanwhile, the DGP Dinesh Reddy held a video conference with the superintendents of police of all the districts and commissioners of police to review the security arrangements made for the Ganesh processions. DGP told the officials not to hesitate to use the force if trouble markers try to create problems.