Sangareddy: Police repeated their dubious role during riots

By Mohd. Ismail Khan,,

Hyderabad: Sangareddy town of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday evening witnessed what other parts of the country have been witnessing during communal riots since Independence: The Police didn’t stop the riots who remained on rampaging spree for several hours. Friday morning saw properties worth several crores of rupees of a particular community looted and destroyed.

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It is said that Muslims lost properties worth nearly 1.34 crore rupees in Sangareddy town of Medak district — 58 shops, 34 vehicles were burned down during the riots. And even a mosque Masjid-e-Noumani was damaged by the miscreants. The riots broke out on Thursday night when Muslims were protesting against a BJP leader who had uploaded vulgar image of holy Kaba on his facebook page.

The town remained peaceful on Friday after the curfew was imposed, but there were several restrictions faced by Muslims during Friday prayers. Curfew has been extended in view of the Ram Navami celebrations on Sunday. Police have registered 8 cases but haven’t yet arrested any rioters.

Muslims in the town alleged that police showed biased attitude in dealing with rioters. Ghulam Haqqani, an auto repair garage owner in the Sangareddy town told TCN, “In the evening on Thursday news about BJP leader disrespecting Kaba Shariff started spreading, some Muslim youths assembled at a police station near old bus stop and protested demanding arrest of BJP leader. Some BJP activists after getting to know about the protest assembled at the old bus stop road and clashes broke out between the two groups. Police concentrated in stopping the Muslim youth and turned a blind eye to the right wing Hindu groups who torched Muslim businesses and vehicles.”

About difficulties people are facing due to curfew, Haqqani said “We are confined to our houses; we can’t open our business. Even we had problem in performing Friday prayers yesterday. Police should lift curfew now, as everything is peaceful and normal here now.” He even said that, “Amount of loss showed by the government is disputable as the amount of actual loss is many folds higher than 1.34 crore.”

The inefficiency of the police to stop the rioters can be easily observed as the riots which started in the late evening continued till 1 am in the night.

On Friday deputy chief minister Damodar Raj Narsimha, Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy, heavy industries minister Geeta Reddy, local MLA T.J. Prakash Reddy, district collector Suresh Kumar, and SP B.J. Victor, visited the town and assured the riot victims of compensation and strict punishment for the people involved in destructing their property.

The locals complained to the home minister about the bias and inefficiency shown by the police. They reiterated to the Deputy chief Minster that if police had taken tough action against the miscreants, the riots would have not spread and looting could have been stopped.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad has remained peaceful on Friday. Police had done an extensive security arrangement in the old city area during the Friday prayers. The situation in Hyderabad became sensitive in the night time when a local Muslim organization protested near Charminar police station alleging Sanjay Thakur, a Bajrang Dal activist has uploaded offensive images of holy city of Mecca, but police later dispersed the mob and controlled the situation.

Additional security has been called in all the communal sensitive towns and districts specially in Telangana region keeping in mind Ram Navami celebration and rallies planned by BJP in all the major towns and cities specially in Hyderabad.