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Crime branch report in eight days: CM

mumbai Updated: Aug 12, 2012 01:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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A few hours after the protest by a Muslim advocacy group turned violent on Saturday, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan announced a speedy crime branch probe into the incident in which two people died and 54 were injured.

The opposition, meanwhile, called the incident a failure on part of home minister RR Patil and the police force.

Chavan said, "The investigations will look at who the organisers were, their role in the violence, how it broke out, and a report will be given within eight days. We will then decide the action to be taken." He said that a high alert has been sounded in the state, and 18 platoons of central and state reserve police forces and the rapid action force have been helping the police maintain law and order.

The CM said that the government is aware that video clips and SMSes related to Myanmar and Assam killings were being circulated before the protest.

"We knew that these incidents had created great anguish and unease in the community, and had a huge police deployment at the spot."

Patil said that there were 800 policemen at Azad Maidan in the afternoon, but were outnumbered.

"As far as the persons killed in the firing is concerned, we have decided to initiate a magisterial inquiry to find out whether the firing was done by the police," he said.

The opposition put the blame for the violence on Patil and the police department.

"The home minister is entirely responsible for this incident. On other occasions like protests by teachers and farmers, when the police exercise so much restraint, why was this group given permission for the protest? Also, why should a protest on Myanmar killings and in support of Bangladeshis, or those in Assam, be staged here in Mumbai," said Shiv Sena MP and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut. He demanded that the group be condemned nationally.

Alleging intelligence failure, BJP leader Vinod Tawde said, "The mob that came for the protest from Dongri, Chembur and Mankhurd was seen carrying hockey sticks. Did the police not sense the mood of the crowd and anticipate this violence?"