Hyderabad: 3 killed, 19 injured in police firing after communal clashes

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Hyderabad: Three people were killed and 19 injured at Kishanbagh in Hyderabad’s Old City early today when officers of the Border Security Force opened fire on clashing groups.

The firing took place in Cyberabad police commissionarate limits on Wednesday morning to control mobs that turned on each other after a religious flag was burnt late last night. The situation was brought under control by afternoon.

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Cyberabad commissioner of Police C V Anand imposed curfew in Rajendranagar — the epicentre of the clashes. In the rioting, two motor cycles were burnt, a car damaged and two houses put on fire. At least 10 policemen sustained head and arm injuries in the stone pelting.

Cyberabad Joint Commissioner of Police Y Gangadhar said unidentified miscreants burnt the flag post of a community at Kishanbagh (Sikhchawni) on Tuesday night.

“Around 6.30 am, a group assembled and attacked people. As both groups, armed with swords and boulders clashed, we ordered BSF to fire in the air. Those who were at some height from the ground level were hit. Three people have died in the firing. The injured are stable,” Gangadhar said. The police said firing in the air was necessary to bring the situation under control.

Officers from the CRPF, Rapid Action Force and APSP were roped in and police pickets were set up in the locality. The flag post was immediately replaced and both communities were asked to maintain calm.

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad police has taken precautionary measures to prevent any spillover action as the Rajendranagar police station is adjacent to sensitive areas of Hyderabad’s core city.

Hyderabad Commissioner of Police Anurag Sharma said, “The situation is under control. We have alerted all staff and patrolling is being intensified.” Police have also imposed Section 144 to prevent gathering of mobs.

Police have asked people not to believe in rumours and maintain calm. The injured are being treated at Osmania General Hospital. TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao asked people to remain peaceful and said law would take its own course.

AIMIM MP Mr Asaduddin Owaisi demanded arrest of the BSF Jawans who opened fire. He asked the government to set up a probe by a sitting High Court judge into the incident. AIMIM MLAs and MP toured riot-hit Kishanbagh on Wednesday.

Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narsimhan has also reviewed the situation in the Old City. He held a meeting with the DGP and other officials and has requested people not to be panic.

TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed grief over the incident.

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