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Vegetable vendor in Asifnagar beaten up for not closing shop necessitating his hospitalisation
Police disperse people who burst crackers and distribute sweets in Dhoolpet
Taking no chance:The Charminar-Madina stretch wears a deserted look as people prefer to stay indoors following the Allahabad High Court verdict on Thursday. (Right) Police stand vigil at Bholakpur. —
HYDERABAD: The police strategy of maintaining an overwhelming presence seemed to have paid off with the situation in the State capital remaining peaceful after the Ayodhya dispute verdict was pronounced on Thursday evening.
The police leadership might have heaved a sigh of relief, with anticipated incidents of protests leading to violence not taking place anywhere, but the relative peace which the city enjoyed was not without the usual hiccups for its citizens.
Right from the morning, an undercurrent of tension was building up with the aggressive posturing of police forces, though outwardly the city presented a composed demeanour. Though an official holiday was not declared, authorities ensured that schools and colleges declared a half-day holiday.
RTC services curtailed
The curtailment of city bus services, the presence of policemen and their order for closure of shops led to a situation where people began suspecting something was really happening. “Why are they closing shops in Banjara Hills?” a retired IPS officer sought to know. Though senior officers did not wish to comment on the over-enthusiasm of their colleagues in forcing closure of shops, they did concede in private that the action was totally unwarranted and that it had indeed led to escalation of tension.
The city roads were devoid of the usual hustle and bustle with cinemas and other establishments being closed. In sensitive areas like Karwan, Asifnagar, Saidabad, Malakpet, Asifnagar policemen ensured that none came out on the roads.
At many places, police did not even tolerate motorcyclists and chased them away. At Asifnagar, a vegetable vendor who did not close his shop was beaten up necessitating his hospitalisation.
In Dhoolpet, police moved in swiftly and dispersed people who burst crackers and distributed sweets after the judgement was pronounced.
A team of reporters of The Hindu, which went around Mushirabad, Amberpet, Malakpet, Saidabad, Asifnagar, Karwan, Shahinayatgunj, Jirra, Himayatnagar and old city areas, found that police had effectively ensured that a curfew-like situation prevailed in lanes and bylanes too.
Go home, people told
Whoever was venturing out on to the roads were explicitly made to feel that their movement was not welcome. “Go home. Do not come out” was the terse message often delivered with slight use of force many a time.
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