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Hyderabad violence news: Restrictions imposed following communal clash in Hyderabad

The communal clashes Sunday spread to more areas in the old city of Hyderabad as police clamped ban on gathering of five or more people and deployed additional forces to bring the situation under control.

Police fired shots in the air to disperse clashing groups in Kalapatthar area after a baton charge failed to bring the situation under control while mobs took to streets in Lal Darwaza and Shahali Banda areas Sunday evening, pelting stones and attacking vehicles.

Tension gripped the communal sensitive old city as fresh incidents of violence spread panic among people.

Nearly 24 hours after the trouble broke out over religious flags in Hussaini Alam area, the disturbances in more areas near the historic Mecca Masjid shattered the day-long peace.

Police Commissioner A.K. Khan told reporters that 36 people were injured in violent incidents at various places since Saturday night.

"We are on alert in view of the latest incidents and are monitoring the situation from time to time," he said.

Paramilitary Rapid Action Force (RAF) and state police personnel were deployed in sensitive areas to maintain peace as Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, who reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting, directed police to deal firmly with trouble-makers.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 of criminal procedure code, banning assembly of five or more persons were imposed in the limits of the entire south zone of Hyderabad.

Khan said the violence was pre-planned and claimed that some elements creating trouble have been identified. Denying the involvement of any political party, he said a meeting would be held with all elected representatives to seek their cooperation in maintaining peace.

Police have registered 15 cases and arrested 70 people for various violent incidents. Khan said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) would probe the cases.

Trouble began in Moosa Bowli Saturday night when members of a community were allegedly putting up saffron flags after removing the green flags installed recently during a festival. The heated exchange of word snowballed into clashes between two groups.

Incidents of stone pelting and attacks on places of worship, houses, shops and vehicles were reported well past midnight while some people were seen vacating their houses in sensitive areas.

Thirteen people, including two scribes, were injured in stone pelting and police baton charge. Two vehicles were set afire and about a dozen others were damaged by the mobs.

Police used batons to disperse clashing groups, who were armed with sticks and stones.

The incidents took place two days after clashes between two groups in Madannapet area on the same issue.

The two communities by and large live in peace and harmony in the city, which has not seen any major communal riot for two decades. (IANS)

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