Curfew in Andhra town after communal violenceOctober 11th, 2008 - 1:11 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, Oct 11 (IANS) Tension prevailed in Andhra Pradesh’s curfew-bound Bhainsa town Saturday, a day after four people were killed and 15 injured in communal violence and police firing.The clashes between members of two communities broke out during the immersion procession of Durga idols Friday in Bhainsa in Adilabad district, 280 km from here.
The indefinite curfew imposed in the town last night continued Saturday. The town is still in the grip of tension but police said no fresh incident of violence was reported overnight.
The trouble began when the procession was passing near a place of worship. While one group claimed that the participants in the procession threw ‘gulal’ (coloured powder) and pelted stones at the place of worship, the other group alleged that the procession was attacked.
The two groups attacked each other with stones, swords and other sharp-edged weapons in the free-for-all. The rampaging mobs went on a stabbing spree and also looted and set afire 40 shops and 12 vehicles. Some miscreants barged into a ginning factory and torched three cotton-laden trucks, police said.
The police caned clashing groups and when this failed to have any effect, fired in the air. Officials said they opened fire on the violent mobs after firing 35 rounds in the air.
District Superintendent of Police P. Anil Kumar rushed to the town with additional forces. He said the situation was brought under control with additional reinforcements rushing from other parts of the district.
State Home minister K. Jana Reddy told reporters here that stern action would be taken against those involved in the rioting. He appealed to people to maintain peace and communal harmony.
Meanwhile, tension prevailed in other towns of the district. Two shops were reportedly torched last night in Nirmal town, forcing authorities to impose prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more persons.
The situation in Adilabad town, the district headquarters, is also tense as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called for a shutdown in the district to protest the “attack on the procession” in Bhainsa.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in Adilabad, Nirmal and other towns in the district.
Meanwhile, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi rushed to Bhainsa and demanded action against the rioters. He alleged that the riots were pre-planned and business establishments of the minority community were targeted.
Talking to reporters in Bhainsa, he said police failed to take adequate security measures. He demanded a compensation of Rs.500,000 each to the kin of those killed and Rs.50,000 to the injured.
Owaisi said miscreants tried to create trouble at different places in the state. He pointed out that some people threw ‘gulal’ on the worshippers at Karimnagar town.