Mumbai: Two persons died and over 40 injured when a protest here against Assam riots turned violent. Declaring an alert in the city, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil has appealed for peace.
As per reports, Patil soon has left for Mumbai from his home district Sangli after the incident took place.
The protesters had gathered at the Azad Maidan ground in south Mumbai to condemn the violence in Assam.
Terming the situation "delicate", the city police chief said that a red alert has been issued in Mumbai.
Also the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Saturday criticized the violence and urged that those who raged the riots should be arrested and penalised for damage caused to life and property.
VHP working president Pravin Togadia said, "All those who were a part of the violence and arson as well as those who instigated the same should be arrested."
"Considering there were serial blasts in Pune recently, and that the Independence Day is also coming up, we have issued a red alert in the city until the situation is entirely under control," Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik told media persons here.
Over 25,000 members and activists of several Muslim organisations Saturday staged a protest at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai against alleged attacks on Muslims in Myanmar and the Assam riots.
"The situation got out of control as a group of protestors turned aggressive around 3.15 p.m. today (Saturday). I personally spoke to a few of them who were on the dais and requested them to maintain calm," Patnaik said.
However, the group had already started pelting stones on city buses and set media and police vans on fire. Patnaik said around 10 buses and six vans were damaged as an angry mob set them on fire.