Internet suspended in Telangana’s Bhainsa town due to communal clashes

An image of the violence in Bhainsa (Photo: @Arvindharmapuri on Twitter)

Hyderabad: Tension prevailed in Telangana’s Bhainsa town on Monday after communal between two groups comprising Hindus and Muslims were reported late on Sunday night. The incident, which witnessed some vehicles being burnt, has also led to the police curtailing internet service to stop the spreading of rumours and to contain the issue. The clashes have also taken place just 10 days before the municipal elections are set to take place in the state on 22 January.

A senior police official from the Telangana police, who did not want to be quoted, said that as many as 65 people from both sides were taken into custody over the clashes. “The situation is completely normal now, but we have suspended internet services for now. There were no casualties, only some people received minor injuries. Stone pelting had taken place due to the ensuing clashes on Sunday night at about 10.30 p.m. in Bhainsa,” he told Mint.

Local media also reported that police officials were also injured in the violence that took place, but the numbers could not be confirmed. However, among the police personnel, deputy superintendent of police (Nirmal district) Narsing Rao had also sustained injuries.

Situated in Nirmal district, Bhainsa has considerable Muslim population of close to 50%. The place is sensitive in terms of law and order situations. The Bhainsa municipality is also dominated by the All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMM), led by Asaduddin Owaisi, member of parliament from the Hyderabad seat. The AIMIM has been winning the municipality from the last three terms. In the coming elections, 26 wards will go to polls under the municipality.

The senior police official also informed that the stone pelting and other incidents of violence took place at the Koraba Galli in Bhainsa town, after an ‘Ijtema’ (religious gathering) was held by Muslims, wherein about two lakh people had gathered. “Some miscreants afterwards were removing silencers from bikes nearby (and causing a ruckus with their bikes). On Sunday night, a small fight occurred after which clashes took place,” informed the senior police official.

The last time Bhainsa witnessed violence basin 2008, and since then the town has been marked as a sensitive place, as some people had also lost their lives then. On Monday, the state police also rushed in senior officials from the nearby districts to contain the situation. While unconfirmed reports on Sunday night said that the violence was linked to protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC), the police official refuted this.

Amjadullah Khan, who heads the Majilis Bachao Tehreek (MBT), demanded that the state government conduct an enquiry into the incident. “Yesterday’s violence has to be looked into on a high-level. This is a plan to deviate the anti-CAA protests in Telangana by vested interests. There is a political conspiracy, with regard to the upcoming elections, and to communise the area. If the state government doesn’t take care of this issue, then the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)will lose Muslim minority votes.”

The Member of Parliament from the Nizamabad seat however alleged that the incident was the handiwork of AIMIM workers. “In Bhainsa of Nirmal district(Telangana), stone pelter and arsonist mobs have selectively targeted hindu properties, vandalised and lit fire.The police were helpless in controlling the mobs as they belong to KCR backed MIM groups. @AmitShah @kishanreddybjp @JPNadda @BJP4India,” he tweeted, with regard to the incident.

[“source=livemint”]