Massive police crackdown in Old City; youths caned, rounded up from homes

A massive police crackdown is underway in Old City of Hyderabad on troublemakers who have been disturbing peace and harmony


HYDERABAD: A massive police crackdown is underway in Old City of Hyderabad since Wednesday night on troublemakers who have been disturbing peace and harmony locally over the last two days. After two days of restraint, the Telangana government led by K Chandrashekar Rao appears to have felt 'enough is enough' and it's time to crack the whip and restore normalcy even if it means by use of excessive force. At least, 10 persons were reported to have sustained injuries in the police crackdown.

The Hyderabad police, along with Rapid Action Force and Armed Reserve personnel, have swung into an undeclared 'operation cleanup' following a high-level review meeting over the prevailing law and order situation. Taking the protesters by surprise, the security personnel, heavily deployed in all the sensitive pockets of Old City, went on an offensive against public gatherings.

Protesters were being mercilessly beaten and taken into preventive custody at several places since Wednesday night. Simultaneously, police teams have also been barging into houses to round up people, especially youths, in a ruthless bid to weaken and diffuse the protest-making apparatus in the Old City. Several videos have been surfacing on Twitter and other social media platforms showing the severity of the police action and the strong resolve to quell the protests and safeguard tranquility and communal harmony at any cost.

A few people on social media were even calling the stunning suppressive action by the police as 'violent policing'. Policemen and Rapid Action Forces in riot gear took control of the streets and mercilessly cracked the whip against the protesters.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad Commissioner of Police CV Anand took stock of the prevailing situation in Old City on Thursday morning. The higher police authorities and the state government machinery is closely monitoring the situation amid reports of sporadic incidents resisting the police action. Infuriated by the police offensive with lightning speed, stones were pelted on the law and order enforcing personnel at a few places. The protesters also shouted slogans, demanding that the police go back.

The curfew-like restrictions that the police have imposed since Wednesday evening are likely to be in force even on Thursday. All shops and commercial establishments were ordered to close by 7 pm on Wednesday.

Though Chief Minister KCR reviewed the situation with minutest detail and instructed the top police officials not to tolerate anything that harms the peace, the details of Wednesday's meeting were not made public. He wanted the police command control centre to monitor the situation constantly across the State. He told them that political vested interests were causing disturbances in the peaceful state and the same must be tackled down effectively. He empowered the police to identify the anti-social elements mercilessly and act on them.

Home Minister Mohammed Mehmood Ali said Hyderabad was a peaceful city. The Telangana Government would have zero tolerance to anybody trying to dent the social fabric and incite communal discord. The state government would initiate stringent action against the divisive forces. Many police stations received numerous complaints against BJP MLA T Raja Singh over his objectionable remarks on the Prophet Muhammad.

The Home Minister asserted that nobody was above the law and anybody indulging in such antisocial activities would be punished as per law.

No night food for now in Cyberabad

The nightlife of Cyberabad too came under hawk's eye of the police. The night food, the USP of DLF area in the upmarket Cyberabad area was closed by the police. Thousands of youths throng the hundreds of food joints late evenings and midnights running into wee hours disappeared on Wednesday night. The area that's usually abuzz with activity with hundreds flocking to every food joint wore a deserted look. The Cyberabad police took control of the area to prevent the spread of any disorder and discord among people.

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