Hyderabad, Nov 11 (IANS) Police arrested five legislators of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) near Charminar Sunday as tension mounted in the old city of Hyderabad over a temple row.
MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi and four others were taken into custody while they gathered to ask police to stop expansion of Bhagylaxmi Temple.
The MIM leaders alleged that despite the Andhra Pradesh High Court ordering status quo, some groups were carrying out the expansion work but police remained a mute spectator.
The police arrested the MIM leaders and their followers and shifted them to Bolarum police station.
Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma appealed to people to maintain peace and not to believe the rumours. The police chief said they would implement the court orders.
The usually busy roads around the 400-year-old Charmina monument even on Sundays were deserted with police sealing off all the routes.
Barricades and barbed fencing were erected leading to Charminar in view of a planned rally by some organizations to ready the temple by Diwali.
Police intensified patrolling in the communally sensitive areas in the old city which witnessed communal clashes a few days ago.
Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more people remained in force in areas falling under five police station limits.
A large number of policemen including the Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed. A curfew-like situation prevailed. Policemen checked vehicles and frisked people.
The Bhagyalaxmi Temple Protection Committee Saturday announced plans to decorate the temple and perform a puja Sunday. The committee warned that if it was prevented from doing so, a rally would be taken out.
The committee members including former BJP legislator Baddam Bal Reddy claimed that the temple is as old as Charminar and accused police of acting at the behest of MIM.
The BJP took out a rally outside the old city Saturday to protest what it called the attempts by MIM to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus.