The police have registered six cases against 5,000 people in connection with Wednesday’s riots in Bhiwandi, according to the police, and arrested 13 for the murder of two constables.
The police have named Sakeel Raza, general-secretary of the Raza Academy, Parvej Anis and Gulab Nabi as the main accused in all six cases and booked them under various IPC sections, including inciting a mob and obstructing government servants in performing their duty.
The 13 arrested in the murder case of two constables were on Saturday produced in a Bhiwandi court and remanded in police custody till July 13.
A mob on Wednesday went on the rampage claiming that a police station under construction was violating the cemetery space. Two rioters were killed in police firing. Later, the mob burnt buses and two policemen were killed.
While the police said the situation was under control in Bhiwandi on Saturday, BJP leader Gopinath Munde called off a visit to the riot-hit areas to “cooperate with the peace restoring process,” sources said. Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi too had declared a morcha in Bhiwandi but was denied police permission.
Shyam Patil, president of the BJP Bhiwandi unit, said that the state government, by announcing Rs 1 lakh compensation to the next of kin of the two persons killed, had done wrong.
Shiv Sena too criticised the compensation. “The government doesn’t have money to help debt-ridden farmers, but has enough money for those involved in the Bhiwandi riots,” party executive president Uddhav Thackeray said in Mumbai. He was speaking a few hours after Sainiks demonstrated at the Gateway of India demanding the arrest of Samajwadi Party MP Abu Azmi.
Coming down heavily on the DF government, Thackeray accused it of going easy on a particular community and asked for action against the rioters.
(With inputs from HT Political Bureau)