Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday moved to clear the city of all religious flags and buntings in the wake of the communal riots that has left two people dead and over 130 injured.
Even as the curfew bound areas remained by and large incident free, the Chief Minister K Rosaiah acknowledged that the root cause of the recent conflagration were the flags and buntings and wanted police and municipal officials to swiftly act and remove them.
It may be recalled that the riots started on Saturday after Hindu activists during the course of installing flags to mark Hanuman Jayanti, removed some flags hoisted by Muslims on the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi(prophet`s birthday), over a month ago. The government rule says that all religious flags should be removed within three days from the celebration, but few care to do that.
The Chief Minister, who reviewed the security situation, asked the police to relax curfew in as many areas as possible to mitigate the sufferings of the common people, after women in some areas came out in the open demanding milk for children and other essentials. Accordingly the police have agreed to give a break for two hours in the morning to allow people to buy essentials.
However, the police do not want to take chance and told the Chief Minister that it would be better to continue the curfew until the Friday prayers were over, to prevent further escalation of tension.
Home Minister Ms. Sabita Indra Reddy speaking to mediapersons after the meeting,said the situation was under control and there were no new incidents since last night. She said already 183 people were rounded up for involvement in the riots and arrests were still continuing.
She said those indulged in rioting and stone pelting during the procession of Hanuman Jayanti organized by the Bajarang Dal were identified and some of them were arrested and others would be nabbed shortly. She warned that the rioters and those behind them would be dealt with sternly.
She refused to comment on the reports about some forces inimical to the present government were behind the carnage and said investigation was going on and those found guilty would be punished severely.