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Azad Maidan mayhem: Police custody extended of 23

Last Updated: Sunday, August 19, 2012 - 16:50

Mumbai: The Esplanade metropolitan magistrate court today extended the crime branch custody of 23 persons arrested in connection with the violence near Azad Maidan on August 11 in which two youths were killed and 55 injured.

The court remanded them to police custody till August 24.

The Mumbai crime branch told the court that they want to find the other people involved in the violence and only those arrested can identify them.

Police said they want to know the "intention and the motive" behind the violence and added that the custody was required as they are yet to recover one pistol and 50 rounds of ammunition.

However, the defence lawyers said police custody was not necessary for interrogation and they may be remanded to judicial custody.

On August 16, police had also arrested a youth, identified as Salim Allarakha Choukiya alias Ali (23), after a video clip showed him brandishing a police self loading rifle (SLR) during the violent protests.

Two SLRs, 150 rounds of ammunition and a service pistol of a police inspector had been looted by the mob. Police later recovered the two SLRs and 29 rounds of ammunition.

Since hammers, knives, and empty cans, said to be used to carry kerosene, and a pistol that did not belong to police were seized from the spot after the mayhem, police suspect the violence was pre-planned.

It is also being probed if the death of two people during the hooliganism was caused due to firing by the violent mob.

Two youths were killed and 52, including 44 policemen, injured when a rally called to protest alleged atrocities on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar turned violent near Azad Maidan in Mumbai on August 11.

The protesters went on a rampage, attacking the police, including some women constables, torching media and police vehicles, smashing cameras of photo journalists and damaging buses.


First Published: Sunday, August 19, 2012 - 16:50

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