Second arrest in Azad Maidan memorial vandalism case
The crime branch of Mumbai police on Thursday arrested the second person accused of damaging the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial at Azad Maidan, where violence broke out on August 11.
Shabad Abdul Kadir Shaikh, 20, a Jogeshwari resident, was arrested near Raheja hospital in Mahim.
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said Shaikh works as a driver with a tourist company and had come to the rally after attending a meeting in his locality, where some of the attendees are suspected to have been instigated to turn violent. The crime branch had arrested the first accused, Abdul Qadir Mohammed Ansari, 19, on August 27. He was picked up from Sitamarhi in Bihar. The police have said the two are not related, and had attended separate meetings in Jogeshwari.
Officials said Shaikh is a Class 7 drop out, and has a case of theft registered against him. His father is a hawker, while his mother supplies tiffin in the area.
The crime branch is consulting legal experts on slapping the Prevention of Insult to the National Honor Act on the duo.
Second-most senior cop transferred
Another head rolled in the Azad Maidan violence case after the transfer of police chief Arup Patnaik, as joint commissioner of police (law and order) Rajnish Seth was shifted out on Thursday.
Though state government officials claimed the transfer had nothing to do with the violence, officials in the DGP office said the government and top cops were unhappy with Seth’s handling of the situation despite being present since the beginning of the rally on August 11.