Mumbai rioters to pay for damage

The Mumbai Police have decided to make Raza Academy and vandals pay for the damage caused during Saturday’s riots in south Mumbai which left two dead, 50 injured and over a dozen vehicles charred.

A crane lifts a burnt television broadcast van from the Azad Maidan ground in Mumbai on Sunday. AFP

The Mumbai Police (Crime) will investigate Saturday’s rioting which saw pitched battle between protesters claiming to be angry at attacks on the Muslim community in Assam and the neighbouring nation Myanmar (Burma) with the police.

Raza Academy organised a public meeting on Saturday at Azad Maidan with speakers from various states.

Academy office-bearers were questioned on Sunday by Crime Branch officials. Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy told the media on Sunday afternoon: “We have formed a special team supervised by two senior officers. The team will go through CCTV and other available footage as well as quiz people taken into custody and speakers who, it is alleged, instigated the crowd to turn into blood-thirsty  marauders.”
Sources disclosed that Raza Academy members were stunned to see the crowd swelling from their expected 1,000-odd number to over 40,000. 

“People were spilling out from the small enclosure at Azad Maidan and it seems that there were some infiltrators with a motive to spark off the pent-up anger of the common man.”

The police till late Sunday have detained 23 people. Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Roy, however, refused to comment on local media allegations that some women constables were allegedly molested and two service rifles and a pistol belonging to the state had not been accounted.

First task

The joint commissioner of police emphasised that the first task before the team was to gauge the magnitude of damage to public and private property. 

   “…after we calculate the losses…under the amended Bombay Police Act, we intend to see that Raza Academy, as well as all those whom we identify as key perpetrators of violence and vandalism, cough up compensation for the damage.”

Intelligence failure

Meanwhile, leaders cutting across all parties met Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to discuss the failure of intelligence department in not being able to assess and gauge the simmering hostility amongt the public towards the state and media.

Comments (+)