Hyderabad: The Telangana police on 16 March released more details about the recent communal violence in Bhainsa town in Nirmal district that left 12 persons injured, including police personnel.
The incident that triggered the violence
On 7 March around 8:20 pm, Rizwan was walking with his friends Sameer and Minaj in Zulfiquar Gully near Zulfiquar mosque in Bhainsa town when two youths - Thota Mahesh and Dattu Patel – riding a two-wheeler hit him from behind.
That night, at around 10:30 p.m, Rizwan along with two others came to Batti gully searching for Mahesh. But they were beaten up by Dattu, Rakesh, Gokul, and Mahesh who belong to the group Hindu Vahini.
Later, Dattu was passing through Zulfiquar Gully on his way to buy alcohol when he became involved in an altercation with a youth belonging to another community. The two groups started pelting stones at each other.
In the meantime, Ramana Yadav, a police constable, tried to disperse the crowd and was injured in the process.
Initial police response
According to the inspector-general of police, north zone, Y. Nagi Reddy, at around 8:30 p.m after receiving the initial information, DSP Bhainsa and inspector of police, Bhainsa Town, immediately rushed to the spot with a platoon of TSSP and special parties and dispersed the gathering.
By then, the violence had spread to other parts of the town. People from the two communities pelted each other with stones which led to the burning of vehicles, houses, and shops in the Panjesha Masjid area, Korba Gully, Cloth Merchant Road, Purana Bazar, and Market Road areas.
Members of one group gathered at a place and under the guidance of Abdul Khabeer alias Baba, the AIMIM counsellor of ward 15, they were sent to various places in the town. The persons have been identified as Sajid Khan, Sameer, Imran Ahmed, Shaikh Pasha, Mirza Imran, Shaik Rizwan, Akbar Khan, Mazar Khan, Meraj Khan, Minaj Khan and others.
The second group was led by Thota Vijay, the sitting counsellor of ward 8 and the ex-president of Hindu Vahini, Santhosh, the district president of Hindu Vahini, and others. Some of the arsons on the second and third day of the violence in the Pardi and Mahagaon villages were committed by Santosh, Kranti, Lingoji, Balaji, and Jagadeesh under the guidance of Santosh. All are from the Hindu Vahini group.
Action taken by police
Within no time, additional forces under Nirmal SP, Vishnu S. Warrier, were rushed to Bhainsa from the neighboring districts and by 10:30 p.m the situation was brought under control. Pickets were posted in sensitive localities and intensive patrolling was organized in Bhainsa. Section 144 of the CrPC was immediately imposed in order to prevent the gathering of persons.
Additional forces and senior officers were drawn from different districts, including Nirmal, Adilabad, Jagityal, Ramagundam, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, and TSSP. A total of 525 police personnel, including senior police officers, 10 CIs, 32 SIs, were deputed to maintain peace and order in the town.
Security was beefed up and 20 motorcycle patrols were pressed into service to patrol the lanes and bylanes. Meanwhile, 27 pickets were posted in the entire town and continuous patrolling was arranged by deploying patrol cars from other police stations.
Investigation and arrests
During the stone pelting, nine civilians and three police officers were injured. Four houses, 13 shops, four auto-rickshaws, six four-wheelers, and five two-wheelers were set ablaze by the miscreants.
Special teams were formed to investigate the cases, identify and apprehend the accused, and analyze CDRs and CCTV footages. The accused persons involved in the cases were identified from CCTV footages installed in Bhainsa town and also from the CCTVs installed and geotagged as part of Nenusaitham programme. The CDRs of the accused were obtained and analyzed and their associates who participated in the arson or instigated the violence were identified and arrested.
Services of CLUES team, fingerprint bureau, and IT core teams were utilized for the proper analysis of the technical evidence. Suspects and anti-social elements and accused who were previously involved in communal cases in Bhainsa town were brought in and interrogated and their involvement in the incident was either established or ruled out based on the evidence collected.
The police registered 26 cases and arrested 38 persons, including four children in conflict with the law, from both communities.
Apart from the arrested persons, the involvement of 70 other accused was established and efforts are on to apprehend them. "Sixty-six anti-social elements, previous offenders who were not involved in these particular incidents, were bound over under Section 107 of the CrPC before the executive magistrate," said the police.
The situation in Bhainsa is under control and peaceful, the police said, adding the police department will initiate measures and will not allow such incidents to repeat in the future.
"The police will act impartially in the investigation of the cases and culprits will be arrested no matter which organizations they belong to. There's no truth in the allegations of bias on the part of the police department," said Y. Nagi reddy, IGP.
The IGP added that the superintendent of police, Vishnu S. Warrier, is personally camping at Bhainsa and monitoring the situation.