Taking into consideration the sensitive nature of the August 11 Azad Maidan violence case, the crime branch of Mumbai police is trying to create a watertight case against the accused.
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said all the 58 arrests are supported by either video or photographic evidence. “This is the first time the crime branch is undertaking investigations into a riot based entirely on hard evidence,” he said.
The crime branch took footage and photographs shot by the police, media and individuals, and put together a 25-minute documentary, which was shown to detection officials of all police stations so that identifications can be made as soon as possible.
Officials said their priority now is to make more arrests of those who molested women police on duty. “Around 40 more accused are wanted in the case,” they said.
The crime branch is also investigating the conspiracy angle, to ascertain if the accused were incited. However, of the 17 persons on stage during the rally, statements of only seven have been recorded so far, and no decision has been taken on them.
The crime branch has also made no headway in the murder charge as two people were killed. Their bodies have have wounds from a gun, but there are only entry and exit marks as the bullets exited their bodies, officials said.
Two SLRs and pistols along with 150 rounds were stolen during the attack. While the SLRs were recovered, only 79 rounds have been found, and only one person who stole the gun has been arrested.
Roy said their aim is to file the charge sheet within the stipulated 90 days. The crime branch has already asked the state government for a fast track court and a special public prosecutor to try the case.