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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Texts, provocative clips triggered violence?

EVENING OF ANARCHY

Police Feel Saturday's Rioting Planned Private Firearms May Have Been Used Most Of Those Hurt Discharged 

Shocked Cops Try To Connect Dots Behind Possible Conspiracy, Ask Cyber Cell To Check Websites; Leaders Say Focus On Assam Rehab, Not Protests



    Saturday's violence that rocked south Mumbai and left police flummoxed by the size of gathering may have been ignited by mass distribution of inflammatory text messages, video clips and photographs of killings in Myanmar. The violence that killed two persons and left 63 injured, shocked the Mumbai police's special branch, which is termed as the intelligence wing of the city police. 
    The police officials first claimed they were unaware of any such video being circulated among the youth and later on Sunday said the cyber crime investigation cell will examine these videos to find out the truth and whether they could be blocked. 
    "The video clippings of killings of Muslims in Burma are today available with most of the young boys on their mobile phone. These are so provocative that youth would have definitely come to protest. Had the city police realized it, proper precautions and deployment of the 

force could have been done," said a senior politician. 
    The community leaders have also suggested that the police should start checking cell phones of young men and warn them for keeping such provocative video clippings. The mob that began with targeting the media crew insisted that the national press had completely ignored the Myanmar killing issue. "If a few NRIs are killed in America, the government expresses its concern, why does it keep quiet on the Burma genocide of Muslims?" asked a community leader. In one of the videos, a Burmese man is shown running for his life. The victim in the video is bleeding and dozens of people are beating him with rods while a policeman, carrying a firearm, is a mute spectator. These videos are being circulated through MMS and Bluetooth. 
    The call for a protest was given by several NGOs on Saturday at Azad Maidan. While by 2.30pm there was uncontrollable crowd, additional forces were not deployed, said sources. The police estimated a gathering of 10,000-12,000 people. But the 
protesters gathered near Azad Maidan were more than 50,000. 
    This is not the first time the police intelligence system collapsed. A few years ago, while Muslims were protesting against a Danish cartoonist for sketching a cartoon of the Prophet, cops expected a crowd of 20,000 people, but more than 1.5 lakh people turned up. 

    THE MESSAGES 
"Burma Assam, Gujarat, Kashmir ke bad na jane kaha? Burma me Musalmano ke qatl-e-aam or zulm ke khilaf Azad Maidan me Sunday ko rally hai. America me 5 sikho ka katal hua to Media or sarkar me hadkam hai or lakhon Musalmano ki zindagi ki koi keemat nahi, sab ki aankhen band hai. Is SMS ko sunday se pehle hindustan k har musalman or mantriyo or media tak pohchao." 
"Assam has witnessed very bad anti-Muslim riots during the last few days. Thousands of our brothers and sisters are waiting for aid in relief camps. They don't have food cloths and shelter. Moreover monsoon related diseases are rapidly spreading in relief camps. We r helping them through relief funds set up by different muslim organisations. Many of my colleagues and friends have already contributed. Waiting for your valuable contribution." 

Raza Academy draws flak from intelligentsia 
    
The Sunni Muslim group Raza Academy, one of the organizers of Saturday's rally at Azad Maidan, is facing flak from Muslim intelligentsia and community leaders for its continued misguided approach in addressing issues. Community leaders feel that if Raza Academy didn't know how to manage big crowds, it should not have given a call for a rally at the Maidan, that too in the holy month of Ramzan. 
    Founded in 1978, Sunni advocacy group Raza Academy works from a tiny office in a crowded street near Mohammed Ali Road. Late Ahmed Raza Khan of Bareli is its spiritual guide and the Academy claims to protect the Sunna (traditions of the Prophet). The Academy is known for organizing protest rallies and dharnas against "injustices" to Muslims and "insults" to the Prophet. —Mohammed Wajihuddin 
Oppn wants central rule in Maharashtra 
Mumbai:The opposition Shiv Sena-BJP combine attacked the Congress-led government and demanded President's rule in the state. "President Pranab Mukherjee should dismiss the government. Saturday's incident and recent serial blasts in Pune indicate a breakdown of law & order in Maharashtra," Sena MP Sanjay Raut said on Sunday. 
    MNS chief Raj Thackeray said the inept home department was responsible for rising crime. A BJP delegation led by Vinod Tawde and state unit chief Sudhir Mungantiwar met the chief minister and demanded Patil's removal.





Cops stand guard on Sunday


DAY AFTER: A policeman taking stock of vehicles that were damaged in Saturday's violence. (Above) Vehicles which were targeted by the rioters being towed away. (Below) A worker dismantling the stage at Azad Maidan on Sunday. The violence left two persons dead and 63 injured


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