An ice cream vendor who was at the Lucky restaurant junction in Bandra (W) on Saturday night, where violence broke out during an Urs procession, said a mob of around 500 people went on a rampage at 12.30 am.
“The entire road was blocked by the mob. There were around 500 people blocking traffic and throwing stones at vehicles around. Even the skywalk was packed with onlookers and passers-by,” he said on Sunday.
The mob, according to eyewitnesses, set around three parked motorcycles on fire while demanding an apology from senior inspector of Bandra police station, Samad Shaikh.
“The frenzied mob was shouting that Shaikh should apologise to the Maulana for his act. But the police were not willing to speak to the public,” said an employee at the Bharat Petroleum petrol station close to the spot.
The violence that lasted for more than three hours, was finally brought under control after the police began lathi-charging, informed eyewitnesses.
“The police started lathi-charging the mob. Although a few hooligans started attacking police personnel, most of the rest ran home, knowing that they would be arrested. The police did manage to arrest a few people and the violence was brought under control by 4am,” said a vendor at the Al-Falah pan-shop close to the spot.
Some eyewitnesses, however, said the magnitude of the violence would have been much less if a layman had been involved in the incident.
“Because the incident involved a Maulana, the public created a huge hue and cry. Had it been for any other person, it would have gone unnoticed,” said an onlooker who was present at the spot when the incident occurred.