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Andhra town tense after communal violence

Andhra Pardesh,Crime/Disaster/Accident, Fri, 30 Mar 2012 IANS

Hyderabad, March 30 (IANS) The situation remained tense in Sangareddy town of Andhra Pradesh Friday following a night of communal clashes.


Police, which had imposed a curfew Thursday night to control the situation, did not enforce it Friday when people came out of their houses. However, the authorities clarified that prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, banning assembly of five or more people, were in force.


Police fired teargas shells to disperse two groups pelting stones at one another Friday morning.


Twenty people were injured and several shops were set afire in the large scale violence Thursday night in Sangareddy town of Medak district, about 70 km from here.


Medak District Collector Suresh Kumar visited the riot-hit areas. He said the law and order situation in the town was under control and appealed to people to cooperate in maintaining peace and harmony. A control room has been opened in the office of the district collector to monitor the situation.


Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy reviewed the situation at a high level meeting in Hyderabad and directed the district collector and director general of police to firmly deal with the troublemakers. He directed the officials to submit a report on the damage caused during the violence.


Local legislator Jagga Reddy of the ruling Congress party assured the affected people that the government would pay compensation for the losses they suffered.


The violence broke out Thursday night when a youth allegedly posted on Facebook the provocative photograph of a place of worship. Even as a group of people was staging a protest outside a police station demanding his arrest, a mob started attacks on shops and vehicles at the Old Bus Stand.


The rampaging mob set afire 40 shops, two four-wheelers and four auto-rickshaws. It also looted several other shops and small roadside kiosks. A police vehicle was also torched.


The looting and attacks continued till 1 a.m. Locals alleged that police remained mute spectators.


As many as 20 people, including a few policemen, were also injured in the stone pelting by two groups.


Police had called additional forces from other parts of the district. As a precautionary measure, security had been tightened in other towns and districts.


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