The Black Day call given by various Muslim organisations to mark the 20th anniversary of demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya passed off peacefully across the State on Thursday.
However, the Andhra Pradesh Bandh call evoked mixed response in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunerabad, although the bandh was total in the Old City. Shops and business establishments in almost all areas remained closed and a majority of educational institutions too declared a holiday on Thursday.
All the markets around Charminar remained closed and even the lanes and by-lanes in the Old City wore a deserted look till afternoon. Elaborate security arrangements were made in the Old City and paramilitary forces were deployed in the sensitive areas. The roads leading towards Charminar were closed for the general traffic. Police have erected barricades and barbed wires at Panch Mohalla, Gulzar Houz, Moti Galli and Sardar Mahal.
Senior officials including Additional Commissioners Sandeep Shandilya and CV Anand and South Zone DCP Akun Sabharwal personally monitored the situation. The officials felt relieved after the Zohar prayers passed off peacefully at historic Mecca Masjid. A few minutes after the Zohar prayers, the movement of general traffic around Charminar was restored. Elaborate security cover was given to Bhagyalakshmi Temple abutting Charminar.
Meanwhile, several organisations organised protest at different places in the city against the demolition of Babri Masjid 20 years ago. The Majlis Bachao Tehreek leaders submitted a memorandum to Governor ESL Narasimhan demanding re-construction of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. The SC, ST and Minority Morch leaders held a protest meeting near the statue of Dr B R Ambedkar at Tank Bund. Some Muslim organisation also held protests at Dharna Chowk near Indira Park. About 15 activists of Darsgah Jihad-o-Shahat were arrested by the police after they burnt the effigy of judiciary at Moghalpura.
Hundreds of women participated in a protest meeting at a function hall at Masab Tank organised by Shariah Protection Committee. The representatives of more than 10 Muslim Women organisations who took part in the meeting demanded re-construction of Babri Masjid.
Muslim-dominated areas of the city like Tolichowki, Mehdipatnam, Asifnagar, Nampally, Mallepally, First Lancer, Malakpet, Santoshnagar, Chandrayangutta, and Barkas were also shut down. The traffic on city roads were thin compared to other working days. (INN)