Shutdown, protests mark Babri demolition anniversary
Hyderabad: A shutdown, protests and meetings marked the 22nd anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, which passed off peacefully on Saturday in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
A shutdown was observed in parts of Hyderabad on a call given by some Muslim groups to demand reconstruction of the demolished mosque at its original site in Ayodhya.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutions were closed and vehicles were off the roads in the old city and other Muslim-majority areas as police stepped up security to prevent any untoward incident.
The usual hustle bustle around historic Charminar was missing while the roads in the centuries-old markets wore a deserted look. Shops downed the shutters in response to the shutdown call given by the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) and other groups.
Police arrested few youngsters, who tried to take out a rally defying the ban orders in Moghalpura near Charminar. The youth were raising slogans in support of their demand for reconstruction of the mosque.
More than 5,000 policemen and personnel from paramilitary forces were deployed in different parts of the city.
Special security measures were taken near historic Makkah Masjid. A tight vigil was maintained across the old city as the attempts to take out rallies by some organisations and also celebration of Vijay Diwas by some others led to violence in the past.
A police officer said the afternoon prayers at Makkah Masjid passed off peacefully. He situation was peaceful.
Police have banned rallies, meetings, rallies, processions and dharnas in the limits of both Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates to maintain peace and harmony.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner M. Mahender Reddy said the orders were issued in view of reliable information that certain groups are trying to create disturbances affecting public peace and order and inciting communal animosity between different communities.
Like in the past, Wahdat-e-Islami, Darsgah Jihad-o-Shadat and some other organisations were allowed to stage a sit-in at Indira Park located outside the communally sensitive old city. The protesters were carrying placards with slogans “Justice delayed is justice denied’ and “Rebuild Babri Masjid”.
Black flags were hoisted at many places in the old city as Muslim groups have called for observing a black day.
Some groups held meeting at mosques and function halls to mark the day and to seek reconstruction of the mosque.
A delegation of MBT leaders led by its president Khayam Khan met Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan at Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum. Later talking to reporters, Khan said justice can be done to Indian Muslims only with the reconstruction of the demolished mosque.
A shutdown was observed in Nampally, Mehdipatnam, Asif Nagar, Toli Chowki, Golconda and other areas of the city.
Muslims also participated in the shutdown in Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Nizamabad, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and other towns in Telangana and also in parts of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
Police had sounded the alert across the state in view of the shutdown call.