Police received input about large gathering: Patil | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Police received input about large gathering: Patil

Home minister RR Patil today said intelligence reports had warned of a large gathering at Azad Maidan on Saturday, but there was no anticipation of violence. Patil also insisted that none of the 23 persons arrested by the police were innocent.

mumbai Updated: Aug 14, 2012 02:02 IST
HT Correspondent

Home minister RR Patil on Monday said intelligence reports had warned of a large gathering at Azad Maidan on Saturday, but there was no anticipation of violence. Patil also insisted that none of the 23 persons arrested by the police were innocent.

"The input with the police was of a possible gathering of a large number of people. But no one had expected the violence that followed afterwards," said Patil.

Assuring that no innocent will be arrested in connection with Saturday's violence, Patil insisted that the police had "scientific evidence" against all the arrested accused.

Patil's comments come in wake of a demand by a Muslim community delegation that met chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday. The minority leaders claimed that some of those arrested had not resorted to violence and were just bystanders who had left their motorbikes at Azad Maidan.

While Chavan assured the delegation that those who were innocent would not face any actions, he added, "But those who took advantage of the huge crowd and created violence and disturbed the peace of Mumbai cannot be spared."

He also warned that stern action would be taken against those fomenting communal trouble in the city.

Meanwhile, Patil slammed the Opposition for demanding his resignation after the incident. "The Opposition should help in keeping the peace in the state instead of attacking the government," he said.

Accepting that the conviction rate in such cases had been minuscule over the years, Patil made it clear that the CCTV footage and photographs available had led to the arrest in the Azad Maidan violence case. "Even in future, the accused will be arrested depending on the solid evidence available with the police," he said.

Patil said the Crime Branch was investigating the matter keeping all the options open. "There are a number of possibilities, right from foreign hand to underworld connection. T truth will emerge once the inquiry is complete," he said.