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Published in the 16-31 Dec 2003 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Violence in Hyderabad

Riot victim in hospital

Hyderabad: Serious violence erupted in Hyderabad on 6 December leading to at least six deaths, while 30 people were injured. Curfew was imposed in eight police station areas in the old city, for the first time in a decade.

There was tension in the air whole day but violence erupted in the evening and continued unabated until past midnight. Police resorted to fire to control the violence. Majority of deaths were due to police firing. Reportedly some Hindutvites objected to Muslims raising black flags to commemorate the day of shame when eleven years ago Babri Mosque was martyred by Hindutva hooligans. AP chief minister CB Naidu has ordered judicial enquiry into the violence.

There were heightened security arrangements all over the country on 6 December which is celebrated by the Hindutvites as a day of pride while Muslims commemorate it as a black day. There is speculation that some political mischief may be responsible for the violence, especially since state assembly elections are due early next year. One clue came next day when the BJP called for a strike in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Sikandarabad on Monday, 8 December. Schools and colleges were closed down on that day in anticipation of trouble fomented by the communal forces bent on polarizing voters on communal lines.

MG News Desk

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