Hyderabad peaceful, curfew to be relaxed Thursday


Hyderabad: The situation in riot-hit parts of Hyderabad remained peaceful Wednesday and the police decided to relax curfew for two hours on Thursday in some areas.

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No untoward incident was reported from any of the curfew-bound or other areas of the city since Wednesday night.

Police Commissioner A.K. Khan told reporters that curfew would be relaxed for two hours in 17 police stations of the old city where curfew was imposed Monday night following communal clashes.

“Only women and men over the age of 50 will be allowed to come out during the relaxation,” said Khan.

However, there will be no relaxation in eight police station areas where the curfew was clamped Tuesday night.

Stating that there would be no relaxation in any area on Friday, the police chief appealed to people in the old city to buy essential commodities for two days.

Stray incidents of violence were reported from some curfew-bound areas adjoining the worst-hit old city but police and paramilitary forces acted swiftly to bring the situation under control.

Khan appealed to people not to believe rumours being spread through SMSes and warned that strong action would be taken against those involved in circulating such SMSes.

The commissioner said those who created trouble during the Hanuman Jayanti procession Wednesday were being identified through video footage and they would be arrested soon.

“The police have so far booked 67 cases and arrested 136 persons in connection with various incidents of violence,” Khan said.

There was an eerie silence in the centuries-old markets around the historic Charminar, which teem with thousands of shoppers and tourists on any normal day. Only the sirens of police vehicles sporadically broke the uneasy calm in the area, famous for pearls, jewellery, bangles, bridal wear, garments and eateries.

Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Chowmahalla Palace and other monuments in the old city wore a deserted look. Salar Jung Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of artefacts by one man, was also shut.

On the other side of Musi River, Begumbazar, a major commercial hub for wholesale grain markets and consumer goods, was also deserted.

Sporadic incidents of violence continued till late Tuesday even after police brought eight more police station areas under curfew following clashes in new city localities while police top brass issued shoot-at-sight orders to policemen in the old city.

The communal clashes since Saturday has claimed two lives and left over 150 people injured.