Three persons were killed on Wednesday in police firing following communal clashes sparked by alleged burning of a religious flag by some persons in Sikh Chawni area of Kishanbagh part of the Old City. It is almost after a gap of six years that communal clashes have rocked Hyderabad.
Police have clamped indefinite curfew after the clashes, which left 17 people, including ten police personnel, injured in heavy stone pelting.
The trouble started after members of a community noticed that a religious flag was burnt at a flag-post in an open ground near a hillock, police said.
As the news spread, people assembled in large numbers and some youth entered the nearby locality of another community and allegedly started attacking their houses and vehicles. Some parts of the area also reported arson even as police intervened and dispersed them, they said.
After some time, hundreds of members belonging to both communities gathered and pelted one another with stones and some police personnel, who tried to stop them, sustained injuries, police added.
Police opened fire to bring the situation under control and in the process, at least three persons suffered bullet wounds and succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at a hospital.
"Around 1,000 members from both sides indulged in clashes. As lathi-charge proved ineffective, police warned the clashing groups and opened fire. Curfew has been imposed indefinitely and section 144 CrPC clamped in Rajendranagar police station area under Cyberabad Commissionerate here following the incident," police said. Police said the bodies of the dead were sent to Osmania Hospital Mortuary for autopsy and the injured have been rushed to the Gandhi Hospital for treatment.
Also, check posts have been erected at all entry and exit points of the Old City. Shopkeepers around the historic Charminar area have shut down their sops fearing escalation of the situation in the wake of tense political scenario in the state awaiting bifurcation and also general election results on16 May.
Governor ESL Narasimhan, reviewed the situation with DGP Prasada Rao in the evening and ordered deployment of paramilitary forces on election duty in troubled areas. Both TRS chief Chandrashekhar Rao and the TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu have condemned the violence . "We all must protect the brand image of Hyderabad," Rao urged while Chandrababu Naidu also asked people to guard the reputation of Hyderabad.
— With Agency Inputs