Mira Road on edge after mobs pelt stones; 13 held | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Mira Road on edge after mobs pelt stones; 13 held

ByMegha Sood
Jan 23, 2024 07:24 AM IST

Tension erupted in Mira Road, Mumbai as two groups clashed over an attack on vehicles bearing saffron flags. Police took over an hour to control the situation. 13 people have been arrested so far.

MUMBAI: Mira Road was gripped with tension on Monday afternoon as two groups of people resorted to slogan shouting and stone pelting, hours after a video emerged showing vehicles bearing saffron flags being attacked in Nayanagar on Sunday night. Police took around one-and-a-half hours to control the situation and disperse the crowd, but it was not known if anyone had sustained injuries during Monday’s incident.

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“I gathered detailed information regarding what had happened in Nayanagar last night itself – I was constantly in touch with the Mira Bhayender police commissioner till 3.30am, and police were instructed to take strictest action against the culprits,” said deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, assuring that there would be zero tolerance against anyone who took the law in their own hands. A senior IPS officer said that one company of state reserve police was dispatched to the Mira Bhayander Vasai Virar police after Monday’s incident; the strength of one company is 120 personnel.

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On Sunday night, the Nayanagar police in Mira Road arrested 13 people on Sunday night for allegedly pelting stones on vehicles bearing saffron flags, which were headed for a procession ahead of the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Police officials said a mob of 50-60 people pelted stones on vehicles that were part of the procession, while one person attacked participants with a knife; 24 persons were injured in the incident, while four persons sustained serious injuries.

According to the FIR registered by Nayanagar police based on a complaint by Vinod Babulal Jaiswal, 43, a shopkeeper, at around 10pm, he along with his family and friends were headed for the procession from Bhayandar to Mira Road in a four-wheeler. Another 3-4 four-wheelers and 11 two-wheelers were following them.

Jaiswal told police that when they encountered heavy traffic while were passing through Nayanagar’s Lodha Road, they took a U-turn and were moving towards Bhayandar when a man stopped in front of their car. “Wait for five minutes, I will now see what your Ram does to save you,” he told them.

Soon, a mob of 50-60 men armed with rods, sticks, weights and bottles gathered at the spot and began pelting stones on the vehicles and vandalising the windows with rods, he said. “The men shouted slogans and came charging towards us, breaking the window panes. They broke the saffron flags on our vehicles and threw them on the road,” said Jaiswal in his statement to the police.

As his car window was shattered, he attempted to alight from the vehicle, but a man charged towards him and attacked him with a knife. “I suffered a cut on my neck,” said Jaiswal. The attackers also assaulted children and women in their vehicles, he added. Police reached the spot around 10.40pm and brought the situation under control.

Jayant Bajbale, deputy commissioner of police, Nayanagar, said that a case against the mob has been registered at the Nayanagar police station under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 341 (wrongful restraint), 295(A) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of region), 141 (unlawful assembly), 143 (being a member of unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 149 (common intent in regards unlawful assembly) and 427 (mischief causing damage of property) of the Indian Penal Code.

“We have arrested 13 people, and are trying to trace the others,” he said.

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