Uneasy calm in Old City of Hyderabad
The Charminar area in the old city of Hyderabad wears a deserted look during curfew on Monday. | PTI

Uneasy calm prevails in the communally sensitive areas of the Old City of Hyderabad though no untoward incidents were reported on Tuesday. Violence erupted in several localities of the Old City on Sunday forcing the authorities to clamp curfew in two police station areas.

Three persons were stabbed critically and at least a dozen people were injured in stone-hurling incidents and isolated attacks on passers-by, after communal clashes broke out on Sunday morning. Though there is a let-up in violence, authorities are continuing curfew in the hyper-sensitive localities of Saidabad and Madannapet, located in the southern parts of the State capital.

Caught off-guard by the sudden violence, authorities took the extraordinary step of bringing the entire capital under prohibitory orders and enforcing a ban on pillion-riding on motorcycles from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the twin cities.

The violence broke out following desecration of a religious place. As news spread, mobs targeted houses and shops of another community.

The police brass had made elaborate security arrangements for Hanuman Jayanti last Friday and withdrew the deployments on Saturday. As the authorities hurriedly moved the forces back into communally sensitive areas, unruly mobs had a field day for over three hours and indulged in heavy stone-throwing and attacks. A couple of incidents of arson too were reported.

Sunday's violence came in the backdrop of communal clashes in Sangareddy town of Medak district, about 60 km from Hyderabad last week. The government came in for sharp criticism for not being able to control the violence immediately in Sangareddy.

The violence in the State capital was gradually attaining a political hue with the BJP stridently accusing the Congress government of being too soft on minorities. The minorities' leaders too began accusing the government of being inefficient in controlling the violence.

Stung by the criticism, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and DGP V. Dinesh Reddy are personally reviewing the law and order situation in the capital. Mr. Dinesh Reddy and Home Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy visited the trouble-torn areas.

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