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Andhra bandh

Hyderabad, Dec. 8: Shops in the old city areas of Hyderabad were closed today in response to a bandh called by the state units of the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to protest against the communal violence on Saturday that claimed five lives.

The administration ordered the closure of schools and deployed 24 more police platoons for patrolling in the sensitive areas. Curfew imposed yesterday was maintained in the eight sensitive police station areas of the old city — Dabeerpura, Shah Alibanda, Charminar, Falaknuma, Rein Bazaar, Moghulpura, Bhavani Nagar and Mir Chowk.

No untoward incident was reported from these areas, though the police had to fire in the air to check mob violence in Sultan Shahi and Gowlipura. Women were allowed to come out and purchase essential commodities such as milk and vegetables, according to additional commissioner of police A.K. Khan. The police said the body discovered this morning at Chandrayangutta area of the old city was not linked to the communal clashes.

Andhra Pradesh home minister T. Devender Gowd, who toured the riot-hit areas this evening, said a decision on lifting the curfew would be taken after a review of the situation tonight. “This is the first time in nearly a decade that I am seeing stab injuries in Hyderabad,” he said.

The minister said 24 cases had been registered so far and 214 hooligans taken into preventive custody. “Another 380 persons in the old city and 100 in Cyberabad have also been taken into custody as a precaution,” he said.

Five people died in communal clashes on Saturday, which the minority community sought to observe as a Black Day to mark the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992.

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