Hyderabad : The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a powerful political party with a large Muslim following, Saturday demanded action against the policemen responsible for firing on the protestors after Friday's bomb blast at the historic Mecca Masjid here.
"The police firing was a double tragedy for Hyderabad. Even before Muslims could recover from the shock of the devastating blast during Friday prayers police killed innocent youths by firing indiscriminately," said MIM leader and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi.
Police said 11 people were killed in the blast while six died in the police firing. Police had remained tight-lipped about deaths in police firing late Friday night and confirmed it only Saturday even as the chief minister apologised for the firing.
Owaisi warned police against "stereotype investigation" by linking Bangladesh or Pakistan with the crime.
He also found fault with some police officials linking the blast at the historic mosque near Charminar to the one at the Police Commissioner's Task Force office in 2005 even before the preliminary investigations were completed.
Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into both the blast and the police firing, he said any investigation should be conducted with open mind.
"The CBI inquiry is necessary into the blast and the police firing to assuage the feelings of the people and take them into confidence," he told newsmen.
Earlier, Owaisi voiced his anger when Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil visited the blast site. He said the policemen opened fire on panic-stricken people without any provocation.
"In a situation like this police should have acted with restrain but they opened fire without first using canes, water canons or rubber bullets," he said.
The parliamentarian sought immediate suspension of two senior police officials for the "excessive use of force" and their "hatred" towards the Muslim community.
Owaisi, whose party is an ally of the ruling Congress party, said there could be no impartial probe unless such officials were removed.
The MIM leader said there were similarities between blasts in Malegaon in Maharashtra last year and those in Hyderabad Friday and alleged that Hindu extremists were responsible for both attacks.
He said the same forces were responsible for blasts at Nanded, Prabhani and Jalna towns in Maharashtra but no action was taken against them.
MIM has its domination in the Muslim-majority old city with all five assembly constituencies in the area held by it. The party Friday announced compensation of Rs.100,000 to the kin of those killed in the blasts and the police firing.