A day after communal violence spread beyond Hyderabad’s Old City area, claiming a life of a shopkeeper killed in stone-pelting by a mob, the state capital was largely peaceful on Wednesday.
The Congress government headed by K. Rosaiah ordered the clearing of religious flags and buntings from various parts of the city, which has been rocked by communal violence since Saturday night.
The riots, which left two persons dead and more than 130 injured, were ignited after Bajrang Dal activists while installing flags to mark Hanuman Jayanti removed some flags hoisted by Muslims on Milad-un-Nabi (Prophet Mohammed’s birthday) more than a month ago.
The government rules say that all religious flags should be removed within three days after a celebration but few care to do so. Chief Minister Rosaiah asked the police to relax curfew in as many areas as possible to mitigate the hardships faced by ordinary people.
In New Delhi, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said miscreants involved in the riots would have to pay a “heavy price” and sounded optimistic about being able to put the new bill to check communal violence in place by the year-end.
“Hot-headed and rowdy elements of both sides seemed to have broken the law (in Hyderabad). They will have to pay a heavy price,” Chidambaram told reporters.
“Both sides have been strictly warned not to disturb the peace and I hope that the situation will calm down and peace will return to the city soon,” he said.