HYDARABAD: Indian police today said they had widened a curfew in the southern city of Hyderabad, home to IT giants Google and Microsoft, after a second man died in fresh religious clashes.
The two men were killed during four days of fighting and stone-throwing between mobs of Hindus and Muslims in violence sparked by arguments at the weekend over decorations for a religious festival. Clashes spread out from the Old City area yesterday, where a curfew was already in place, leading police to extend restrictions to a further eight districts. About 40 percent of the city is now under curfew. A youth died yesterday during heavy stone-throwing by two groups. The other victim was stabbed to death on Monday and a total of 106 people have been injured and 250 detained during the unrest, a police spokesman told AFP.
“Police officers have been asked to deal firmly with anyone creating trouble,” police commissioner AK Khan told reporters today. “We will use all the powers and force at our disposal.” A rally by Hindu groups yesterday for a festival day celebrating the birth of the Hindu god Hanuman is thought to have sparked the fresh unrest, which led police to fire tear gas and rubber bullets.
“The situation is tense in major parts of Hyderabad but no fresh incidents of violence have been reported since last night,” the top state police officer RR Girish Kumar said today.
Hyderabad, a teeming city of eight million people, has attracted major investment from global information technology and pharmaceuticals firms, such as Microsoft and Google, and is a symbol of India’s emerging economy.