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No politics in riots: Desai

world Updated: Aug 13, 2011 01:10 IST
HT Correspondent

The riots in London that had spread to other parts of the cities in UK is not political, but triggered by tech-savvy gangs of youngsters going on a looting spree, says Lord Meghnad Desai.

Though there are socio-economic subtexts for any kind of unrests, what was witnessed in the streets of London was not political. “There was no student movement. No trade union agitation either. So it was not a political movement”, Desai told HT. “It is just a law and order issue”, he added.

He said that making use of the opportunity, and taking advantage of the police inaction the gangs of youth went on a looting spree.

“They were teenage gangs. They are well-connected with their Blackberries. They act faster than you think, and send the message across about whether the police are around or not. And they made use of the opportunity to the hilt, going on looting the shops.”

Desai opined that the police could have learnt their lessons about the youth protests turning violent, as it happened after a recent protest over the fee hike. Many experts are pointing out the lack of strong political issues in the riots.

Lord Meghnad Desai was in Delhi to attend a function to confer the Rabindranath Tagore International Prize on Ramapada Chowdhary, a renowned novelist in Bengali Literature.