Two dead in Mumbai protest against Myanmar violence (Third Lead)August 11th, 2012 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Aug 11 (IANS) Two people were killed and over 40 injured as a protest by several Muslim organisations to condemn the alleged attacks on Muslims in Myanmar and the Assam riots turned violent, officials said. An alert has been sounded in the city.
“Two people are reported dead in St George Hospital (in south Mumbai) and over 40 injured are being treated in hospitals here,” an official from the disaster management cell told IANS.
Terming the situation “delicate”, the city police chief said that a red alert has been issued in Mumbai.
“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.
Policemen had made a baton charge to disperse the mob. They also fired in air and immediately cordoned off the area and the two main connecting roads for vehicular traffic.
Asked whether the lack of proper security led to the situation, Patnaik denied it, saying that the security at Azad Maidan was proper.
“There were enough policemen at the ground and there was no lapse in security system. However, an angry mob has to be handled with tact and use of force often worsens the situation, and hence the policemen did not use force,” he said.
The violence, however, affected the local train services on the Harbour and Central lines. Traffic jams were also seen on roads leading to southern and south-central parts of the city.
Led by Raza Academy, an organisation working to promote Islamic culture, the protest to condemn the alleged attacks on Muslims in Myanmar was supported by other organisations like Sunni Jamaitul Ulma and Jamate Raza-e-Mustafa. They also condemned the riots and violence in Assam.
Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil appealed to the people to maintain law and order and assured them of appropriate investigations and that steps being taken against those guilty.
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Tags: angry mob, arup, assam, city buses, city police chief, dais, disaster management, maidan, management cell, media persons, muslim organisations, police commissioner, police vans, policemen, proper security, protestors, red alert, riots, south mumbai, vehicular traffic