Mumbai calm but police remain on guard

An uneasy calm prevailed in Mumbai Sunday, a day after violence sparked by killings of Muslims in Assam and Myanmar killed two people and injured about 100 others, including 45 policemen.

"The situation is calm, road traffic is normal, public buses and suburban trains are functioning as usual," a police officer said.

Police maintained a tight vigil across the city and surrounding areas, especially Muslim pockets.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced late Saturday night that the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police will probe the incidents which held the city to ransom for several hours Saturday.

"The Crime Branch will probe how a peaceful procession suddenly became violent and who was behind it," Chavan said.

Early Sunday, Chavan went around different hospitals and met the injured. Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik's quick thinking and restrained measures Saturday have come in for appreciation.

When some Muslim leaders made provocative speeches and the first signs of violence erupted, Patnaik got on to the stage and urged everyone not to create a repeat of the violence the city saw after the 1992 Babri mosque demolition.

He guaranteed safe passage to all the demonstrators if they agreed to disperse peacefully and restrained the police from taking any action.

Some Muslim leaders found sense in Patnaik's appeal and followed his instructions. In the process, "a very ugly situation" was prevented, said Patnaik later.

But not everyone paid heed to the appeal, triggering violence that left two people dead.The injured included at least three mediapersons. Their photo equipment and OB vans of three TV channels were badly damaged.

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