Lucknow (India), Feb 07, 2012: The fragile bonhomie between Shias and Sunnis of old Lucknow city was shattered after incidents of violence since Sunday night. Two dozen persons were injured including one with pellet injuries.
Since Sunday evening stone pelting, sloganeering continued while police resorted to mild lathi-charge and fire tear gases to control unruly mob. This violence started in Gadhi Peer Khan locality when Sunni muslims were taking out their Madh-e-Sahaba procession to mark the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The issue was over the carrying the flags of Sunni Anjuman, through the locality which is predominantly inhabited by Shias. The situation worsened when the procession reached Dargah Hazrat Abbas located in Rustam Nagar locality. Hundreds of people from both sects resorted to sloganeering. Later on police reached the spot and tried to pacify the situation. Police resorted to tear gas and lathis charge to disperse the mob. Shutters of various shops was damaged.
The old city of Lucknow has a history of clashes between these groups especially during Muharram and Eid-e-Milad-u-Nabi.
Dozens of people were injured in the violence and three of them were admitted to hospitals because of seriousness of injuries. One Bilal, a resident of Karabala Diyanuddaula locality was beaten up by police when he ventured out and was admitted in Fehmina Nursing Home with head injuries. Another Rizwanul aka Shabbu of Gadhi Peer Khan with pellet injuries in his hand was admitted in Trauma Center while one Raja was admitted to Balrampur Hospital after getting injured in stone pelting.
Once the news spread to other areas, it engulfed the whole old city. Violence was reported from Garhi Peer Khan, Amberganj, Baba Hazara Bagh, Ghanta Beg ki Ghadiya, Top Darwaza, Akbari Gate, Katra Abu Turab, Billauchpura, Gullu Ki Takiya, Mehboobganj, Wazirbagh and several other places. Stone pelting was also witnessed at Hussainabad, Muftiganj and Satkhanda locality. Mostly there were stone pelting from both sides and occasional thrashing up of people caught in the cross fire.
The schools remained closed due to violence and even some of them announced holiday for Tuesday. Tension is palpable on every face with concern about the night. People in the affected localities did not sleep whole night and were seen sitting on their rooftops. Equal numbers of people were also on the roads only to get information about the latest developments.
Meanwhile, no curfew has been imposed in the affected areas but restriction on gatherings of more than three persons has been clamped, section 144. Assistant District Magistrate OP Pathak maintained that security forces are on alert and the mischief mongers will be severely dealt.
The situation throughout the old city of Hyderabad remains tense and incidents of violence are being reported from several parts.