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Centre alert

New Delhi, May. 15: The Centre today asked states to watch out for possible communal tension, flashing the alert hours before home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde bid goodbye to officers over snacks.

The trigger appeared to be the clashes in Hyderabad yesterday, in Meerut over the weekend and a rancorous election campaign before that.

“The incident in Hyderabad, for instance, ought not to have happened in the first place. We have sent a general advisory to states to be alert to communal tension,” Union home secretary Anil Goswami. Three persons died in the Hyderabad violence.

Goswami said some states had made specific requests to hold back paramilitary forces sent for the polls, betraying fears about possible violence.

He pledged assistance in preventing any untoward incidents, whether communal or related to tension over the poll results, sources said.

A little before Goswami sent the advisory, Shinde patted him and his team over cutlets and sandwiches on the minister’s last day in office, lauding their efforts for ensuring peace during polls that lasted over a month.