Two held over attacks on mosques in two Telugu states

Both suspects are said to be mentally disturbed persons

Hyderabad: The police suspects the involvement of two mentally disturbed persons in two different incidents of attacks on mosques in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Andhra police has arrested Maniratnam in connection with the murder of the priest of Noorani Mosque, in Lalacheruvu near Rajahmundry, on Thursday night. Assistant Imam of the mosque, Mohammad Farooq, was murdered and the Quran was burnt by unknown miscreants causing tension in the area. The incident sparked protest at many places in both the Telugu states.

The police, which had initially suspected the involvement of five to eight people, on Tuesday arrested Maniratnam from Uravakonda bus stand in Anantapur district. Police say he was involved in another murder for Rs3,000 (Dh173) in the past.

As the incident sparked angry reactions in several places in Andhra Pradesh. The state Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, had strongly condemned the incident and directed the police to arrest the culprits. Five special teams were constituted to investigate the case.

In a similar incident in Mallapur village of Jagtial district in Telangana, the police have detained a mentally disturbed person for questioning. He is suspected to have desecrated the mosque and burnt copies of Quran on December 29 night.

District superintendent of police Anant Sharma said that police was questioning the detained person about the incident. As the incident sparked tension in the district and evoked strong protests at many places, the state government had taken the incident seriously and the additional SP Intelligence Narendar Kumar had visited the mosque and spoke to the Imam Zameerul Haque Mazahari. The detention came after the police had questioned many suspects, police said.

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