The communal violence in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday took a violent turn with miscreants burning alive six members of a family in a village in the early hours of Sunday.
State home minister K Jana Reddy said three houses were burnt in Vatoli village near the riot-hit Bhainsa town, where six persons, including three children, were killed.
The victims have been identified as Mahboob Khan, Naoman, Arsalan, Rizwana, Sfia Begum and two-year-old Tuba Falak.
Fresh wave of tension and panic gripped the people in the rural areas of the district as the news of the fresh incidents of violence spread on Sunday.
Jana Reddy told reporters in Hyderabad that the police had rushed to the village and patrolling had been intensified in the surrounding areas.
"Police are investigating the case and we will catch the culprits," he said. He described the situation in Bhainsa as peaceful and under control.
Inspector General of Police, Warangal Range, J Poornachandra Rao, who was camping in Bhainsa, also reached the scene of the ghastly incident.
The incident has occurred two days after the communal riots broke out in Bhainsa, killing four people and burning and looting of shops and businesses at a large scale.
Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi, who rushed to the village, charged the state government with failure in ensuring the safety and security of minorities.
"Despite our repeated pleas, the government has failed to provide protection to Muslims," he said.
CBI PROBE ORDERED
Earlier, the government ordered a magisterial inquiry in to the incident. Jana Reddy, along with minister for labor G Vinod and the director general of police SSP Yadav, rushed to the spot and saw the gutted house, where the six bodies were almost reduced to ashes.
The home minister ordered the senior officials to strengthen the security and intensify patrolling in rural areas in view of the tension.
Earlier, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy strongly condemned the incident and expressed his unhappiness with the failure of the police. He spoke to the home minister and asked him to rush to the village.
Meanwhile, in a precautionary measure the police has imposed prohibitory orders in Adilabad and Nirmal towns.
The incident could not have come at a worse time for the Chief Minister as he was getting ready to project Andhra Pradesh as a "role model in communal harmony" at the Monday meeting of the National Integration Council.
Vatoli village witnessed tension during the Home Minister's visit when MIM President and the Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi demanded inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the incident of burning a family alive. "We will not allow the home minister to leave this place till he announces the CBI inquiry", Asaduddin Owaisi announced .
The incident evoked strong condemnation from all political parties, including Telugu Desam, TRS and the BJP. Leader of opposition and TDP President K Chandrababu Naidu said that the ghastly incident was the result of the failure of the state government. "The communal trouble is continuing in Bhainsa and surrounding areas of the past three days, but still the government could not stop it", he said.
TRS President K Chandrasekhara Rao, who left for Vatoli, demanded an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the victims' family. He said that TRS would make every possible effort to restore the peace in Bhainsa.
Senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu also held the government's inaction responsible for the incident and appealed to the people to maintain peace and exercise restrain.