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Hyderabad firing victims buried amid tight security
Local leaders allege security forces used modern weapons, fired with intention to kill; demand high level enquiry
Thursday May 15, 2014 10:20 AM, & Agencies

Even as the local police claimed the stituation to be calm and under control, a pall of gloom prevailed in the riot affected areas of the Old City which witnessed violent clashes between Muslims and Sikhs Wednesday leaving three Muslims dead and many houses set on fire.

Hyderabad riot

The three Muslims identified as Mohd Shajauddin Khateeb, Mohammed Wajid Ali and Mohamed Farid who were killed in the firing were buried amid tight security.

Meanwhile, local leaders are condemning the indiscriminate action by te security forces which killed three Muslims, inclduing a newly wed, and are demanding for action against the official who ordered the firing.

Zahid Ali Khan, editor of Siasat Urdu Daily while condemning the action taken by the police and BSF said, "The way in which the residence of Kishan Bagh faced yesterday's situation, no one can imagine. Not only the houses were burnt but financial damage has also been caused."

Condemning strongly the police action, Zahid Ali Khan said that police utterly failed to find out the conspiracy of the communal riots.

Majlis Bachao Tahreek (MBT) President Dr Khayam Khan strongly condemned the communal violence and death of three innocent Muslims in the firing.

Dr Khayam Khan, in a media statement, described the violence as a result of a larger conspiracy to target the Muslims living in Kishan Bagh area.

He demanded a high-level probe through a sitting Judge of the High Court into the entire incident.

He accused the police of inaction and said it did not reach to the spot in time allowing the miscreants to attack the lives and properties of local residents.

"For over an hour, the officials of Hyderabad and Cyberabad police fought over jurisdiction with none of them accepting the responsibility to stop the violence. Immediately after their arrival at the spot, the police, including the Para-military forces, resorted to open firing killing three innocent Muslims on the spot and injuring seriously several others," he said.

Dr Khayam Khan sought to know as to who ordered the firing and whether the central paramilitary forces had acted on the advice of the local police or obtained the order for firing from a magistrate. The police did not use lathicharge, teargas or rubber bullets to disperse the mobs. Instead, they went on "shoot to kill" mode and open fired on the innocent people.

He also alleged that the injured were not immediately shifted to the hospital and even after they were shifted, they were not immediately provided the required medical care in Osmania General Hospital.

It is alleged that the Border Security Force (BSF) used INSAS rifles which are of modern technology. They were used in Indo-Pak war in 1999. It has the capacity to fire 600 rounds in one minute.

Rapid Action Force and Border Security Force (BSF) personnel who were in the city for election duty were rushed in after the violence broke out. A senior police officer issued orders to BSF to open fire.

Mohammed Farid, one of the deceased in the police firing that followed the clash was married only a few months ago. He was to become a father in about seven months.

His father, breaking into tears, said, "I am 78 years old and done with my life. Wish it was me who was killed today instead of my son. He was our only breadwinner and his sister's marriage was also on his shoulders."

Farid's sister said, "We are all poor people and have no enmity with anyone. He had only gone for work in the morning as usual and all we heard was about his death."

For another victim's family, it was a repeat of what had happened 11 years ago when a clash between two communities broke out over a similar issue.

"My uncle was killed in 2004 when a riot had erupted, and now my brother. Who will take care of his family of six children?" a family member rued. Nearly six houses of a family were reduced to ashes in a matter of hours.

A woman sitting along with four of her children cried, "We have been living here for the last 25 years and my uncle has been burning scrap here all these years. It is not possible for him to damage the flag post which is about 10 ft away."

Trouble broke out after armed Sikhs allegedly attacked houses and shops of the Muslim community in the early hours of Wednesday after some unidentified people burnt a religious flag overnight.

The armed Sikhs attacked Muslim houses in Sikh Chowni and set ablaze properties. Muslims from neighbouring areas started to assemble after news of attacks started to spread which led to stone pelting between both communities.

One of the houses set on fire belonged to a home guard with the Andhra Pradesh Police. He was inside the house with his three daughters and wife when the armed Sikhs allegedly tried to break open the door and on failing to do so, set the house ablaze pouring kerosene.

"Today, my family is alive because I hid them in the house. They did the damage and I could see through the window that police men and other security forces were standing outside. I had worked for the department for 29 years!" he lamented.

Cyberabad Joint Commissioner of Police Y. Gangadhar defended the firing claiming it was necessary to control the situation tough he claimed that orders were given to fire in the air.

"Around 6.30 am, a group assembled and attacked people. As both groups, armed with swords clashed, we ordered BSF to fire in the air. Those who were at some height from the ground level were hit. Three people have died in the firing. The injured are stable, firing in the air was necessary to bring the situation under control", he said while talking to reporters.



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