19 more held for Azad Maidan violence | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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19 more held for Azad Maidan violence

The probe into the violence at Azad Maidan on August 11 got a boost on Wednesday, when after almost a week of lull, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) rounded up and arrested 17 people from different parts of the city for participating in the incident, HT reports.

mumbai Updated: Aug 23, 2012 00:53 IST
HT Correspondent

The probe into the violence at Azad Maidan on August 11 got a boost on Wednesday, when after almost a week of lull, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) rounded up and arrested 17 people from different parts of the city for participating in the incident.

In the past 24 hours, 19 people have been arrested, of whom two were caught on Tuesday, said Himanshu Roy Joint commissioner of police.

The two arrested on Tuesday were produced before court, which remanded them in police custody till August 28.

"The remaining 17 accused will be produced in court on Thursday," Roy said.

Like the 24 arrested soon after the incident, these 19 accused too have been booked for murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, arson and molestation, amongst other charges.

Roy said Miazuddin Jan Mohammad Sheikh, 28, one of the two arrested on Tuesday, was involved in torching an OB van that belonged to a TV channel. Sheikh, a resident of Wadala, has been previously involved in serious offences, including causing grievous injury to others. He was identified from the CCTV grabs and photographs of the incident.

Kurla resident Mohammad Hussain Kamruddin Ansari, 21, who was arrested on Tuesday, also has a criminal background, the police said.

"All those arrested were on the basis of available scientific evidence [photos and video grabs]. We are being careful to ensure that no innocent man is hassled," Roy said.

Of the 19 arrested, seven to eight have police records, and all were involved in violence on August 11.

"Except for five to six of them, the rest are from the eastern and central suburbs," Roy said. "They were all armed with rods and inflammable material and came by train. Many of them attacked commuters while going back. The CCTV footages and witness statements collected by the railway police corroborate it."

The police are trying to determine whether the accused were instigated to get involved and whether anybody arranged the logistics. "Their interrogation is likely to throw light on the behind-the-scene players and the larger conspiracy," Roy said.

Initial interrogation suggests that the accused heard about the rally through advertisements in Urdu newspapers by Raza Academy, text messages and announcements made in mosques.

Roy said they were not involved in vandalising the Amar Jawan Jyoti at Fountain.