20 arrested, 400 booked for rioting during Ram Navmi procession in Malad West
According to the Malwani police, FIR has been registered against 12 men and around 400 other unidentified people are accused of pelting stones and throwing slippers on the devotees participating in the Ram Navami procession.
MUMBAI: Twenty locals have been arrested and 400 others booked for allegedly rioting, assaulting and unlawful assembly during Ram Navami procession in Malad West on Thursday night, according to Malwani police.
According to the Malwani police, FIR has been registered against 12 men, identified as Munna Naitulla Rafique Shaikh, Mohammed Shoaib Ahmed Mohammed, Faizan Alim, Lateef Sayeed, Afzal Shaikh, Sadique Shaikh, Mohammed Furkaan Faiyaz Ahmed, Ahmed Raza Samir Shaikh, Mohabia Ansari, Jamil Merchant, Munna Shaikh, Riyan Shaikh. These 12 and around 400 other unidentified people are accused of pelting stones and throwing slippers on the devotees participating in the Ram Navmi procession.
The FIR is registered based on complaint lodged by constable Amol Walavalkar.
Ajay Bansal, deputy commissioner of police, Zone 11, said that the officers are scanning through the CCTV footages of the locality and drone recordings to identify the other miscreants, who tried to disrupt the procession.
Bansal said that on Thursday Rakesh Harinath Yadav, from Bajrang Dal in Malwani and Mithilesh Singh, leader on Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Malwani had organised a procession from Ram Janki temple at Bajrang Chowk in Amnuj Wadi.
In his complaint, Walavalkar said that more than 6,000 devotees were participating in the procession. Around 7.25pm when the procession was passing through Jama Masjid at Abdul Hamid Road, the police officers noticed that a mob of around 150 men gathered at the spot.
As the procession passed, the mob began chanting slogans hearing which the police officers approached the crowd. While the police officers were trying to disperse them, one of the men picked up a rock and threw it at the devotees in the procession.
The officers nabbed the miscreant, identified as Munna Naimtulla Rafique Shaikh immediately and later took him to police station.
Around 8.45pm when the procession reached Ali Hazrat Masjid on the same road, police officers noticed that around 250 men, including Jamil Merchant, had gathered near Savera Heights building. Within seconds the men began shouting slogans, pelting shoes and slippers on the procession. “When we intervened, the men threw stones at us and injured us too,” said Walavalkar.
The mob then began pushing and shoving the police force, who had to use light force to contain the crowd, said Bansal. He added that in the incident a few men, including policemen, suffered injuries. However, the procession was allowed to pass without any problems thereafter.
“We have video recordings and drone recordings and we are in the process of identifying the miscreants,” said Bansal.
In Powai, the police had detained several men, who were suspected of creating problems in Ram Navmi procession. We have not arrested anyone, said Maheshwar Reddy, deputy commissioner of police, zone 10.
Tourism minister Mangalprabhat Lodha, who is also the guardian minister of the Mumbai Suburban ,said that there was no political link behind the Malwani riots.
“I visited Malwani last night and was there for more than two hours. There were no BJP party workers, all those who participated in the procession were Ram devotees. Everybody knows from where the violence sparked off. It was probably started by the people whom MVA leaders support. “
When asked whether it was the reaction of the Hindu Jan Akrosh Morchas held across the state, Lodha said, “It was not a reaction to any action. Malwani had witnessed similar type of violence last year too. There were no such morchas held at that time. There is no link to Jan Aakrosh Morchas held by Hindus with the riots.”
Lodha said that the miscreants will be punished strictly.