Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Between saffron and green, Hyderabad sees red flags -  National News – News – MSN India

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    • Hyderabad:
    • It’s been almost a month since Andhra Pradesh government moved to clear the city of all religious flags and buntings that were at the root of the recent communal riots which hit the state capital.
    • "Placing those flags was unnecessary and an act of disrespect towards the religion. It is for the first time in Hyderabad that thousands of green flags were found tied all around the streets. It is an insult because the flags had photographs of Mecca and Madina and when the they fell on the street, people walked over them.

      "Even if they were tied for the festival, they should have been removed after the celebrations. It was not done and this encouraged the other community to put up saffron flags ahead of Ram Navami. The saffron flags were put up after removing the green flags and that is when the competition started," says a religious leader, Hamid Mohammed Khan.

    • The presence of flags has slowly become an indicator as to who 'controls' a particular lane or area and this is causing tension between the two communities. After police and religious leaders intervened, the flags tied on government buildings were taken off, but they remain in other places.

      Lateef Mohammed Khan, Secretary of Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, says since the Muslims insisted that the flags put up for Eid Milad-un-Nabi will remain there till the next festival, the Hindu groups retaliated by wanting to keep their flags till Hanuman Jayanti. "Since then this is going on and all the main roads, streets and lanes are covered with flags," he says.

    • "None of the local people or even the businessmen has the kind of money spent on flags. Elements on both sides probably received enormous funds from those who wanted to start this trouble. The Muslims even organised biryani dawats on the main roads and it was free for all. Where did the money come from?" a source asks.

      The areas which witnessed riots and where the flag contest is still going on have a strong presence of the MIM, Hindu Vahini and the RSS. Though the overall population of Hindus is 30 per cent and Muslims 70 per cent in the old city areas, there are many pockets where the population is in balance.

    • Source: Indian Express
Between saffron and green, Hyderabad sees red flags
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