Mumbai: On charges of provoking riots, 23 people were arrested by the Mumbai Crime Branch as they protested against the Assam violence at Azad Maidan here. No specific details of those arrested are available as of now.
With respect to this incidence, a delegation from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) will meet the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today to demand arrest of those involved in the violence.
The protest that was called by Raza Academy was peaceful initially, however, it turned violent when miscreants started pelting stones as they moved ahead torching media vans. Two deaths were reported as a result of this incidence with around 46 reported as injured. Two police constables were also reported missing.
As per police, three police vehicles, two motorcycles and around three media outside broadcasting vans were set ablaze by the miscreants, "Forty BEST (civic) buses, two four-wheelers and five two-wheelers were damaged in stone pelting," police added.
A probe has been ordered by the Mumbai Crime Branch to check behind the motive behind the violence.
Taking a look at the area this morning, the area wore a deserted look as policemen cordoned off the locality following the incident. The timings of the violence is also a cause of concern as it took place with the independence day next week.
When asked the Chief Minister Chavan about the incident, he said, "A statewide alert has been issued to ensure there is no adverse fallout of the incident. CRPF, Rapid Action Force and the state police have been deployed at sensitive locations. The crime branch will probe just how the situation suddenly took a violent turn."
"I appeal to all not to believe in rumours," he added.
As per reports 26 rounds of bullets were fired by the police along with 30 tear gas shells. The suburban train operations were halted for 20 minutes as a mob entered the CST station.