Six persons, including three children, were charred to death on Sunday at Bhainsa in Adilabad district, 160km from Hyderabad.
The Andhra Pradesh government has ordered a CBI inquiry into the communal violence. The probe will look into Sunday’s incident as well as Friday’s, when four persons were killed.
Police said three houses in Watoli village, about 15km from Bhainsa town, were set on fire early in the morning when the victims were most likely asleep and had no time to escape. Sources said five of them were residents of Hyderabad and were visiting during the Dussehra holidays.
The dead have been identified as Mahboob Khan, Nauman, Arsalan, Rizwana, Sofia Begum and Falak. Three of the bodies have been charred beyond recognition and the police was likely to seek a forensic text.
The incident comes two days after communal clashes claimed four lives in Bhainsa. On Friday, violence broke out during the immersion of Durga idols; curfew has been in force in the town since.
State Home Minister K. Jana Reddy, who along with DGP S.S.P. Yadav rushed to Watoli village, condemned the attack.
“We are investigating the case and will soon catch the culprits,” he said.
Reddy added that the situation was calm and under control and police patrolling had been intensified in all vulnerable areas in the district. The minister said additional contingents of rapid action force had been despatched to the district.
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who is on a tour of Karimnagar district, has ordered the district police to be vigilant and prevent the spread of violence.
He has told them to take strict action against anti-social elements and ensure that no innocent person suffers in the process, an official release from the CM’s office said on Sunday night.
Appealing to people to help in maintaining peace and harmony in Adilabad district, Reddy urged all sections of people to observe restrain and to be vigilant against rumours being spread by anti-social elements.
District Collector Ahmed Nadeem has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. Venkateshwarlu, the Revenue Divisional Officer of Nirmal division, has been appointed the inquiry officer. He will have to submit a report within 30 days.
Meanwhile, tension prevailed in Nirmal and Adilabad and other small town towns, which have a sizeable population of minorities. The police have imposed restrictions on assembly of people and patrolling has been intensified in all lanes and bylanes.