In a major move, the TRS government in Telangana shunted out Adilabad District Collector Jyothi Buddha Prakash, deputy inspector general of police (Karimnagar Range) C Ravi Verma and district superintendent of police M Srinivasulu on Saturday.
The transfer orders came a day after violence broke out due to an ongoing tussle between Adivasi Gonds and Banjara Lambadas in Utnoor.
According to reports, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao held an emergency meeting with the Telangana DGP Mahender Reddy and senior officials at Pragathi Bhavan to review the law and order situation in the district.
It was also decided that Nirmal SP Vishnu S Warrier will replace Srinivisulu.
The Times of India reported that the decision came after the police failed to act swiftly, despite intelligence inputs. It took about three to four hours for the police to even mobilise.
The ToI report adds that the local police registered 17 criminal cases for arson and three cases for injuring policemen.
Scores of people were injured, some of them critically, as the two groups attacked each other in tribal areas in Utnoor, about 250 km from Hyderabad.
Police used teargas shells at several places to disperse the clashing mobs, which set several shops and vehicles afire.
Police denied some media reports that two people were killed in the violence. Deputy Inspector General of Police Ravi Verma said nobody was killed in the clashes.
Police clamped prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more persons in agency areas and sent additional forces to violence-hit villages to contain flare-up.
Trouble broke out after a statue of Komaram Bheem, a freedom fighter revered by Gonds, was found garlanded with footwear in Betalaguda in Narnoor block. Adivasis took out a protest rally at Hasnapur, which turned violent. Protestors torched a hospital belonging to former MP Ramesh Rathod.
Tension had been building up in some parts of the state over last few days in the wake of demand by Adivasis to remove Lambadas from the list of Scheduled Tribes.
The violence in Adilabad came a day after Adivasis resorted to violence in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district against the inclusion of Lambadas in the Medaram Temple Trust Board, which organises Medaram Jatra, a tribal fair.