Uneasy calm in riot-hit parts of Hyderabad
An uneasy calm prevailed in riot-hit areas of Hyderabad Thursday, a day after paramilitary troopers opened fire killing three people following communal clashes that left scores injured.
An indefinite curfew continued in Kishan Bangh, Sikh Chowni and Arsh Mahal areas of the Cyberabad police commissionerate.
Police said the situation remained peaceful. No untoward incident was reported since Wednesday morning when Border Security Force (BSF) personnel opened fire on a mob.
A large number of policemen and paramilitary forces maintained a tight vigil in the areas, which were rocked by clashes early Wednesday after a religious flag was allegedly found burnt.
The dead were buried late Wednesday amid tight security. Eight people who received bullet injuries and others were who were injured in the attacks by the mob were undergoing treatment in hospitals.
Police have also beefed up security in the old city areas abutting riot-hit neighbourhood.
The BSF action of opening fire has come under severe public criticism. The residents of Arsh Mahal alleged the security force opened fire on them without a warning.
The residents, majority of whom are daily wage labourers, alleged that both the rioters and the police targeted them. According to them, policemen were mute spectators when a mob armed with swords attacked them and set afire their houses, shops and vehicles but and when they gathered to protest police fired on them.
The Cyberabad police had sought help of BSF personnel, who were deployed in the city during elections. A police official had asked the BSF to open fire when a group had gathered near a hillock.
However, it was not clear if the police official asked the BSF personnel to open fire in the air or on the mob. Some officials admitted the situation could have been controlled without firing on the people.
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has demanded judicial probe into the police firing. In a letter to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi demanded an inquiry by a sitting judge of the high court.
Owaisi alleged the police failed to act when an armed mob attacked the houses of a particular community but asked the BSF to open fire when some people pelted stones as a means of self-defence.
(Posted on 15-05-2014)