At least 200 youngsters — in the age group 15 to 22 — armed with sticks and rods had boarded trains from Kurla, Govandi, and Mumbra to CST on Saturday, crime branch officials claim.
While analysing the CCTV footage collated by the railway police from various railway stations, the crime branch has identified the culprits responsible for the violence at Azad Maidan on Saturday.
Sources in the crime branch told HT that the CCTV footage clearly showed several youngsters boarding trains in groups. “All of them were seen wielding sticks or rods, while some were carrying haversacks,” a source said, adding that the bags may have been used to carry petrol and kerosene jerrycans. “They came prepared with the clear intention of indulging in violence.”
“While those boarding trains from Kurla railway station were in separate groups of 40 to 50, those who came from Mumbra and Govandi were in groups of 15 to 20,” the source said.
Once they reached CST, the groups split up into smaller teams and entered the venue from different directions.
Police suspect that the youngsters were motivated and briefed about the plan well in advance. “We are trying to identify those who instigated the mob and provided the logistics,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, crime.
Roy said the Mumbai police’s intelligence wing and informers were trying to identify the culprits with the help of the CCTV grabs.
Sources claimed that the youngsters seemed to be part of a particular radical sect and had been motivated at local seminaries for Saturday’s violence.