2 dead, 54 hurt in Mumbai protest over Assam violence
Two persons were killed and 54 injured in Mumbai on Saturday when a protest by a Muslim organisation over "atrocities" against the community in Myanmar and Assam turned violent.
A 15,000-strong crowd is estimated to have assembled at the Azad Maidan for the protest organised by the Raza Academy and joined by two other organisations.
According to the police, protesters set fire to three TV outdoor broadcasting vans and four police vans besides damaging vehicles, including BEST buses. Around 30 vehicles were damaged in the attack. The police had to resort to lathicharge.
The two dead youth were identified as 24-year-old Ahmad Umar and 18-year-old Aftab Khan. Home Minister R R Patil said at least one died due to bullet injuries. Commissioner of Police Arup Patnaik said one person is believed to have died in police firing. Both were brought dead to St George Hospital.
A senior inspector sustained serious head injuries in the violence while one constable is missing.
By late Saturday, the police had detained at least 20 people.
While tension had started brewing 1 pm onwards with some shops reportedly vandalised at the protest site, Patnaik said it was around 3 pm that the crowd turned violent, after some protesters showed "provocative photos" of the Assam violence. "Some people started raising slogans against the police and media. They set fire to police vehicles," said Patnaik. "As we tried restraining the crowd, a scuffle broke out between the protesters and police."
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