KURNOOL: Mild tension prevailed at Hosur in Dhone mandal, when people belonging to a particular section of a community clashed with the police and damaged vehicles over denial of participation in a religious event late Sunday night.
On the eve of Muharram, the residents of Hosur organised Chinna Saragathi (a pit filled with fire embers) and people dance around it as a tradition. According to Dhone DSP V Narasimha Reddy, the people of Hosur village had made all arrangements to celebrate Chinna Saragathi.
In what is seen as an alleged case of discrimination, the people belonging to the SC community were asked not to participate in the ritual. A group of SC youth from the village took exception to the discrimination and the two groups had an argument over the same. The people belonging to the SC community later approached Pathikonda police and sought help to ensure their participation at the festival.
Police, interacting with the village elders, asked the local elders to allow the SC community people to participate and settle the issue amicably. With the village elders not changing their stand, the people of SC community too decided not to participate and asked their community people not to go to Chinna Saragathi on Sunday night.
When the ritual was about to take place, police reached the spot and asked the people of other communities not to hold the ritual as the situation might go out of control, if the people of SC community reached there.
This led to heated arguments and infuriated villagers attacked the police with stones injuring an inspector, a sub-inspector and a constable and also damaging the police vehicle. The police resorted to lathi-charge and dispersed the mob.
A police picket has been posted at Hosur to prevent any untoward incidents. “Police are on a high alert as the religious event will conclude with ‘Pedda Saragathi’ on Tuesday,” the DSP said. The DSP said that they have identified some persons, but they have not taken anyone into custody. “We need to check the CCTV footage and will initiate action after the completion of Ganesh idol immersion and Muharram,” he added.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu condemned the lathi-charge on women. “The retaliation by people and the damage to police vehicles is a clear indication of the deteriorating law and order situation in the State,”’ Naidu said.
He asked the people to observe restraint and asked the police to take measures for a peaceful conduct of the festival.