Charminar tense again over worship site expansion

Hyderabad, Nov 5: The old city of Hyderabad remained tense Monday after incidents of violence the night before over reported attempts to expand a place of worship abutting the Charminar monument, police said.

Many shops remained closed Monday, and a holiday was declared in many schools and colleges.

A policeman was injured, six police vehicles and a few shops were damaged as people pelted stones at Shahali Banda near Charminar, the symbol of Hyderabad, Sunday night.

There were rumours that a rally was going to be organised by those supporting the expansion of the place of worship. Those opposing the construction at the site then gathered to pelt stones; stones were hurled back at them too.

Police fired teargas shells to disperse the clashing groups.

A policeman sustained injuries in the stone pelting.

An ATM and a few shops in the area were damaged.

Police said the situation was tense but peaceful.

There were rumours that those demanding the expansion of the place of worship abutting Charminar were planning a rally from Koti to Charminar.

Police had earlier denied permission for such a rally, but some people gathered at Koti, triggering rumours that the rally would take place.

Violent incidents were reported Friday last, when people staged a protest against the attempts to expand the place of worship.

On the night of Oct 31, some construction activity had begun in the site; a group of people went on a protest and staged a sit-in, demanding that police intervene to stop the construction.

IANS