HYDERABAD: Law enforcement agencies resorted to tear gas shelling and fired into the air in different areas of Hyderabad on Sunday following an incident of alleged desecration of the Holy Quran.
A policeman was assaulted while a police mobile was damaged by a mob.
Enraged crowds forced their way into a business centre by breaking windowpanes to get hold of the man they accused of sacrilege of the Holy Quran.
Police picked up a sanitary worker. A case was registered under sections 295-B and 34 of PPC on the complaint of Bilal, son of Bundo Khan Abbasi.
The complainant claimed he had learnt that someone had burnt pages of Holy Quran in Rabi Plaza. He went inside and learnt that someone had burnt Holy Quran. Soon, he said, eight to 10 persons entered the plaza.
Bilal claimed that Maulana Amin Zikriya showed him burnt pages near an elevator. He asked a sanitary worker whether he knew the identity of the man who had done this, but he remained silent.
According to Bilal, he got hold of a sanitary worker and took possession of some of the burnt pages. He then handed over the man, along with the burnt pages, to police.
The trouble started when news about the alleged sacrilege spread like wildlife across city. All business and commercial centres were shut immediately. Enraged youth gathered outside the plaza.
The number of furious protesters kept increasing and by 5pm they were in the thousands, blocking streets leading to the plaza.
As the mob refused to disperse, police decided to disperse the crowd by resorting to tear gas shelling. This forced the protesters to flee the area, but they re-emerged after a few minutes.
Six or seven demonstrators managed to enter the plaza through a mezzanine office by breaking windowpanes and using a ladder.
Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2022