As one more person was stabbed to death on Monday afternoon, the police clamped curfew in the old city area inHyderabad from 7 pm on Monday.
The police said curfew would be enforced in all the 17 old city police station areas since there was no sign of the three-day-long communal clashes fizzling out.
The clashes started on Saturday night with a minor Hindu-Muslim dispute over hoisting of a religious flag.
State home minister Sabita Indra Reddy said the number of persons injured in the clashes had gone up to 60 and the police had arrested 86 people.
Earlier, the minister convened a meeting of MLAs and police officials to draw up a plan of action. But Bharatiya Janata Party president G Kishan Reddy left the meeting in a huff as Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leaders blamed the saffron party for the violence.
MIM leaders alleged that the communal disturbance was instigated by some vested interests to destabilise Chief Minister K Rosaiah.
Monday’s violence resumed barely minutes after Reddy toured the area and announced a confidence-building measures, assuring the people that peace would be restored soon.
The police said a number of shops, besides a few religious places, were damaged on Monday in the Lal Darwaza and Syed Ali Chabootra – localities with mixed populations.
Rosaiah told the assembly on Monday that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had spoken to him on the phone and enquired about the situation. Gandhi also appealed all concerned for peace.
Ten companies of central paramilitary forces had reached Hyderabad in the morning and more forces were on their way. Rosaiah said, “We are taking the help of other states as well and mobilising the required forces.”
But a large contingent of personnel, comprising the state police and the central paramilitary forces, has so far not been able to stop violence in the city.
On MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi’s allegation that the police remained a mute spectator to attacks on religious places and residences, Rosaiah urged him not to make any comments in the House that could aggravate the situation.
The MIM legislators, however, continued to protest over the alleged police bias, forcing Speaker N. Kirankumar Reddy to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.