Hyderabad: In an apparent bid to stoke communal trouble, unknown miscreants entered a mosque in Mallapur village in Karimnagar district of Telangana last night and burnt copies of the Quran. Prayer mats were also damaged in the incident.
As the news of the incident spread this morning tension gripped the area and groups of agitated Muslims came out on the roads to protest and demand action against the culprits.
Senior district police officials have reached the spot and a manhunt was launched to nab the culprits.
The incident came close on the heels of a similar incident in the Rajahmundry city of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
According to the police unknown miscreants entered the Noorani mosque in Lalachervu village, 10km from the city and beat the Muezzin Mohammed Farooq to death. They also burnt the Quran and other religious books and desecrated the mosque.
Superintendent of police Rajahmundry Urban B Rajakunari said the incident occurred on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday and came to light when the mosque was opened for morning prayers on Friday.
“The body of the 61-year-old Muezzin was found in a pool of blood”, she said.
As the news spread thousands of angry protesters blocked the National Highway 16 demanding action against the culprits. People from other communities also joined Muslims in the protest.
Quickly responding to the incident Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu spoke to the SP and addressed a media conference to condemn the incident. He assured the people that the culprits would be nabbed and brought to book. “Top police officials are investigating the case. Special teams were formed to search for the culprits”, he said.
The Muezzin Farooq hailed from Bihar and had been working in the mosque for the last three months.
Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi spoke to the SP over the phone and expressed his concern over the incident. He demanded stringent action against the guilty.