Hyderabad: Eleven persons including three police officers were injured in clashes that began as a petty quarrel on Sunday night between groups from two communities in the communally-sensitive Bhainsa town of Nirmal district.
Incidents of stone-pelting were reported till 2 pm on Monday.
Reports said 13 houses were destroyed partially by the mobs while one house and 24 two-wheelers were burnt. An autorickshaw and a car were partially damaged by the mobs.
Clashes and stone-pelting were reported from Korva Galli, Kishan Galli, Purana Bazaar, Zulfiqar Colony in Bhainsa.
North Zone Inspector-General Y. Nagi Reddy said police had arrested 16 persons in connection with the clashes. Addition-al police forces, including the Rapid Action Force, were being deployed in the town.
Speaking to the media, Mr Nagi Reddy said there was no conspiracy behind the clashes. He said the police would not tolerate any violence and would take appropriate action against the culprits.
The clashes began as a quarrel between a group that was riding noisy motorcycles in the Korva Galli locality at about 10 pm on Sunday, and local residents, who objected. It quickly escalated and groups from the two communities started attacking each other and pelting stones.
Sources said one particular house was targeted during the clashes.
Police were alerted and moved in quickly to separate the mobs. They fired teargas shells several times to disperse the groups and those who were pelting stones at the police.
Additional police force brought in
A huge police force was brought in from the bordering districts of Ramagundam, Siddipet, Jagtial, and Sircilla to bring the situation under control by about 3 am. Stray incidents were reported on Monday afternoon.
In the melee, the police escorted five women and two men who were stranded in the clashes to their houses with the help of community elders
in the Kisan Galli locality.
Police said people returning to Bhainsa from a religious congregation near Sirgapur, 25 km from Bhainsa, in Dilawarpur mandal on Sunday night were affected.
Inspectors-General Nagi Reddy and Pramod Kumar, police commissioners Satyanarayana of Ramagundam and Joel Davis of Siddipet and the superintendents of police of Adilabad, Sircilla, Jagtial and Kamareddy camped in Bhainsa to monitor the situation. Police has started a door-to-door enumeration of the damage sustained during the clashes.
A section of people expressed their displeasure with the police for giving the responsibility of traffic regulation on the main roads to members of a community.
Police said they are examining the CCTV footage and appropriate action will be initiated against those involved in the clashes. It is said that the agitations for and against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens also had some influence on the clashes between the two groups.