Tension sparked off as organizers of Hanuman Jayanti tried replacing Milad-un-Nabi flags in Moosa Bowli
What started as a show of power by a leading city-based political party has spiralled out of control. Saturday's Hindu-Muslim clashes, despite the police commissioner's assurances of security, are still on. There is tension at Begum Bazar currently, and it remains to be seen how law and order will be restored in the Old City.
How It All Began
On February 24th, the Milad-Un-Nabi celebrations were being carried out in full swing, with heapfuls of support from the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), and flags and buntings being set up in the entire Old City. One month later, these flags were removed to put up saffron flags marking the Sri Ram Navami celebrations on March 24 in Madannapet (near Saidabad Colony), marking the first of the tensions.
On March 27 (Saturday), organisers of Hanuman Jayanti celebrations in Moosa Bowli in the Old City tried to hoist their flags and buntings, removing the ones that had been put up for Milad-un-Nabi, sparking heated arguments, that were followed by clashes.
On the following Sunday, at around 11am, the BJP state unit president G Kishan Reddy and Himayatnagar MLA Baddam Bal Reddy were prevented from visiting the Peepal Hanuman temple in Moosabowli by the police, where clashes took place on Saturday night. Angered, the locals attacked houses and shops of the other community who retaliated with equal vengeance. Attempts were made by the MIM legislators and the BJP leaders to pacify the mob, but none could stop the news from reaching other areas, and violence eventually broke out.
Soon, as rumours aided by SMSes spread like wildfire, stone pelting & vehicles being set ablaze ensued, along with injuries.
Sporadic incidents of violence continued at Gulzar Houz where cameras of some media photographers were damaged, and also in Chatrinaka, Shalibanda, Shamshergunj and Parthiwada.
Stone pelting also began at the Gol Moque in Siddiamber Bazar after the afternoon prayers, and the temple opposite the mosque was also pelted as a riposte. The agitation spread to Gowliguda Chaman as well.
The areas Siddiamber Bazar, Afzalgunj, Gowliguda, Begum Bazar, Kalapathar, Chatrinaka, Shah-Ali Banda, Puranapul, Afzalgunj, M J Market, Shamshergunj and Moosabowli were all reported to have witnessed trouble in the Old City.