Tight security in Hyderabad for mosque demolition anniversary

December 5th, 2008 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Dec 5 (IANS) Hyderabad police have tightened security across the city in view of the shutdown call given by Muslim organisations to mark the 16th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid Saturday.Police have banned any procession or public meetings in the Muslim-majority and communally-sensitive old city area. Prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more persons have also been imposed in the area.

The call for the shutdown was given by local political parties, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) and the Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) and several other Muslim organisations.

Some of these organisations observe a “black day” to protest the mosque demolition in Ayodhya Dec 6, 1992, and demand its reconstruction at the same site.

Personnel of paramilitary Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Andhra Pradesh special police have been deployed as part of the security arrangements, as well as policemen from other districts.

Patrolling has been intensified in the sensitive areas and bomb disposal squads were conducting checks around public places. Vehicles were being regularly checked and people frisked.

Police say they do not want to take any chances as the city witnessed riots on this day in the past when Muslim groups observing a shutdown and some Hindu outfits celebrating the day as “Vijay Diwas (Victory Day)” clashed in the old city.

The city is already on alert in the wake of recent terror attacks in Mumbai and Wednesday’s incident in the city in which three to four terror suspects opened fire on policemen, injuring two of them.

The incident occurred when policemen were trying to apprehend Vikar Ahmed, allegedly a former activist of banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and city-based Darasgah Jihad-o-Shahadat (DJS).

Vikar and his accomplices were still at large through police have picked up 20 suspects including a close associate of his. Police officials said they were investigating if Vikar, who was absconding for over a year, returned to the city to carry out a terror attack.

Meanwhile, police have reportedly refused permission to DJS to hold a rally outside old city. The organisation, which trains Muslims youths in self-defence and champions Jihad and martyrdom, has been holding a silent rally every year at Indira Park to demand reconstruction of Babri Masjid.

It was the only organisation allowed to hold a rally on the occasion and a large number of people including women and children used to participate in the event.

As the pressure is mounting on police to act tough on DJS after Wednesday’s incident, permission has been denied this year though no formal announcement has been made in this regard.

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