The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Violence at funeral march

Hyderabad, June 6: The funeral procession of a local politician who died in an attack here yesterday turned violent.

At least seven policemen and five civilians were injured in sporadic violence as the funeral procession of Mohammed Ghouse, a senior member of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, a city-based political party, wound its way from Mallepally to Aghapura locality today.

Trouble first broke out yesterday when some members of the Mangode community from Afzal Sagar locality refused to pay the bill at a hotel owned by a member of the minority community. Though the scuffle died down, the hotel and nearby houses were pelted with stones during the funeral procession of a Mangode girl later in the day.

When local leader Ghouse tried to stop the violence, he was attacked with two boulders allegedly by members of the Mangode community. Ghouse died in hospital.

Additional commissioner of police Abdul Khayyum Khan said the culprits would be arrested soon as they had been identified.

The 10,000-strong procession for Ghouse today had gone only half a kilometre today when some angry supporters of the slain leader started throwing stones at the 2,000 policemen posted in the tense area. Khan said at least five policemen were injured.

Houses of another community along the procession route were also targeted. But nobody was injured.

Amid tension in several sensitive localities of the old city, 10 two-wheelers, parked outside a bank, were set on fire and a mob tried to break open the doors of the State Bank of India’s Aghapura branch. Near Mecca Masjid, two policemen and three police vehicles were targeted after Friday prayers. Police said the violence was a reaction to Ghouse’s death.

Police opened fire in the air in three localities to disperse the mob. Witnesses said five people were badly hurt in the police cane-charge.

Shops and business establishments in Mallepally, Nampally, Aghapura and nearby areas remained closed though a company of the Rapid Action Force was on patrol in sensitive localities.

Violence flared up again when several people, returning from Ghouse’s funeral, rushed towards houses of the other community in Aghapura and pelted stones. Two-wheelers parked outside were set ablaze.

Muslimeen legislator Asaduddin Owaisi had to go around making impassioned pleas for peace before the renewed violence died down.

According to Khan, security has been further tightened and police patrols in all sensitive areas will be intensified.

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