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Mumbai mob stole 2 police SLRs, one pistol

India TV News Desk 12 Aug 2012, 13:15:41 IST
India TV News Desk
Mumbai, Aug 12 : Saturday's mob violence appears to be the handiwork of a bunch of criminals, who not only indulged in stoning and arson, but also stole two police self-oading rifles and a pistol from policemen. They even tried to molest a lady constable of Mumbai police.

Their act has been caught on CCTV cameras installed near Azad Maidan.  
The city based-Raza Academy, which had organized the protest morcha, had earlier told police that the crowd would comprise only 5,000 people, but apparently it swelled up to 20,000, police sources said.
Most of the protesters were peaceful, and police even provided them protection in returning home, but  a section of them was belligerent and immediately resorted to unprovoked stoning and arson, sources said.
A constable admitted to St George Hospital said: "A protester had falled and I stopped to pick him up, but the mob attacked me. I was kicked and beaten with sticks."
A news channel employee said : "The protesters surrounded our OB van, shouting 'media murdabad' . Before we could realize  what was happening, a group of people started vandalizing it. Some others urged us to come out. As soon as we came out, the OB van was set on fire."
The Raza Academy, that organised the protest morcha, is a Sunni outfit that highlights the cause of Muslims.  During the Iraq war, it appealed to Muslims to shun US-made products. It is also anti-Israel and once organised a morcha to its consulate to offer bangles.
Toeing the Barelvi line of ideology, the academy is staunchly anti-Deoband. The academy also opposed granting of asylum to Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen.
Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said, Saturday's violence appears to be the action the part of some anti-social elements and the Crime Branch would thoroughly the cause of why violence erupted all of a sudden after the  protest was over.  
Out of the 55 persons injured, 45 were policemen, Chavan said.
A state of red alert has been sounded throughout Maharashtra and Rapid Action Force has been kept ready to quell further disturbances.