Mumbai

Azad Maidan violence was planned: Mumbai police

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 13, 2012 09:57 IST
  • Violence strikes Mumbai

    A policeman near a torched vehicle after a protest against Assam riots turned violent in Mumbai.(PTI/Shashak Parade)

  • Violence strikes Mumbai

    Vehicles in flames near CST Station after a protest against Assam riots turned violent in Mumbai.(PTI/Shashak Parade)

  • Violence strikes Mumbai

    A torched police vehicle near CST Station after a protest against Assam riots turned violent in Mumbai on Saturday.(PTI/Mitesh Bhuvad)

  • Violence strikes Mumbai

    Firemen dousing a torched vehicle near CST Station after a protest against Assam riots turned violent in Mumbai. (PTI/Mitesh Bhuvad)

  • Violence strikes Mumbai

    A TV grab shows  an OB van of a television channel set on fire during a demonstration at Azad Maidan in Mumbai. (UNI)

  • Violence strikes Mumbai

    A TV grab shows fire fighters trying to put out the flames after a an OB van of a television channel was set on fire during ...

  • Violence strikes Mumbai

    A photojournalist shows his broken camera after a protest against Assam riots turned violent in Mumbai. (PTI/Mitesh Bhuvad)

  • Violence strikes Mumbai

    Muslims participate in a protest over Assam riots in Mumbai. (PTI/Shashank Parade)

  • Violence strikes Mumbai

    Police carry another police who got injured in the scuffle with the violent mob during the protest against Muslim killings in Assam at Azad Maidan ...

  • Violence strikes Mumbai

    Violent mob put vehicles on fire during the protest against Muslim killings in Assam at Azad Maidan in Mumbai, India.(HT/Anshuman Poyrekar)

The police on Sunday told the court that Saturday’s violence at Azad Maidan, which has left two dead and 63 injured, was premeditated.

The police have in all arrested 23 persons and booked them for murder, attempted murder and offences such as dacoity, rioting, molestation and causing damage to property.

The police decided to book them for murder as they suspect that one of the two youngsters killed, Aftab Aktar Khan, 17, a resident of Kasaiwada in Kurla (east), was shot with bullets that don’t belong to police.

Officials are waiting for the ballistic report for a final confirmation. The mob stole two self-loading rifles and a pistol from the police along with 160 rounds of ammunition. While the two SLRs were found in damaged condition, the pistol is yet to be recovered.

The crime branch, which is investigating the incident, has recovered a country-made firearm (katta) from the spot.

The 23 accused, produced in Esplanade court on Sunday, were remanded in police custody till August 19.

The police have also named 17 organisers in the First Information Report filed in the case, though they have not been arrested so far.

Of the 17, five are speakers who addressed the rally, and officials said they would check the content of their speeches to see if they used provocative language or incited the mob in anyway. The leaders of the rally will soon be questioned.

Explaining why the police are convinced that the violence was planned, a senior crime branch official said: “The attackers seemed to have brought a stock of fuel with them and were carrying rods, sticks and knives with them.”

Defence lawyer Wahab Khan argued in court that the police had arrested the wrong people and that none of the organisers had been arrested. He also alleged that the accused had been wrongly charged for murder as the two youngsters died in police firing

Officials said the rally was organised by two outfits, the Madina Tul Ilm foundation from Kurla and the Raza Academy.

The foundation had applied for permission from the Azad Maidan police to protest the alleged killing of Muslims in Assam and Myanmar.

In the application, the organisers said they expected 1,500 people to attend. As per police estimate, more than 20,000 persons turned up.

Officials maintain that more 650 policemen and four SRPF platoons had been deployed.

 

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