Nirmal: People from two communities clashed in the communally sensitive Bhainsa town of Nirmal district of Telangana late on Sunday night, leaving more than five police officers injured. Nirmal SP C Shashidahr Raju, DSP K Narsing Rao and Circle Inspector Venugopal Rao are among those who were injured in the violence, said sources.
Though the exact cause of the skirmish is yet to be ascertained, it was apparently over a bike race between youngsters from one community. The racers got into an argument with the members from the other community who tried to stop them.
After the initial arguments,sources said, the groups hurled stones at each other. The confrontation quickly spread to attacking the houses of both communities. The unidentified youngsters torched a few bikes parked outside homes, reportedly looted one house and tried to barge into many more. Incidents of arson were also reported from Korbagalli area in the town.
As the situation was going out of control, additional forces and armed companies were rushed from neighbouring Nizamabad and Adilabad districts. Though the violence has been contained for now, Bhainsa remains in the fear of clashes.
While the violence was being unleashed, a group of youngsters raised slogans in support of NRC and CAA. Purported videos of these were shared on microblogging site Twitter.
As Bhainsa has a history of communal violence, the police have sounded a high alert in the district. Meanwhile, security at the Old City of Hyderabad has been beefed up. Suspecting that the issue might flare up due to the ongoing protests against CAA and NRC, the police have taken additional precautionary measures.
Though there is no official announcement from the police department or the government on the incident, officials from Telangana Director General’s office are monitoring the situation, said sources. It is likely that senior IPS officers who have in the past worked in the erstwhile Adilabad district may be sent to camp at Bhainsa to oversee the situation.
Bhainsa had last reported communal violence in 2008 when six members of a Muslim family were burnt alive. Authorities had imposed curfew in the town till normalcy restored.
Meanwhile, three cases were registered in connection with the violence and investigation is underway. Police are in the process of identifying the miscreants who were involved in the violence.
As the situation remains tense, more armed parties are being rushed to the town while social media activity is being monitored by police and IT cells of different police wings and Intelligence department. In order to ensure return to normalcy, police have been urging people against circulating videos pertaining to the night’s violence. As Hyderabad is also likely to have an off-shoot effect, security has been beefed up in the State capital.
Police found that more than 24 bikes were torched, close to 13 houses were completely gutted, but there were no reports of any burglaries.
Inspector General North Zone Nagi Reddy, Inspector General Karimnagar range and other senior officials rushed to Bhainsa and are camping in the town ever since the news first came in.