Twenty people have been detained in connection with the violence in Mumbai that killed 2 people and injured over 50, even as organisers of an event to protest violence against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar have admitted "irresponsible speech" that triggered rioting.
The Indian Express reported that President of the Raza academy, Mohammed Saeed Noori, who organised the protest, had admitted that an "irresponsible speech" condemning "poor coverage" of the Assam situation had been made at the venue.
Meanwhile the BJP are scheduled to meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and demand that those responsible for the violence be arrested immediately. "We condemn the attack on media persons and on duty policemen. However, police should have anticipated violence during an event that had a huge gathering," a BJP spokesperson said.
The Mumbai Crime Branch has now taken over the investigation.
Chavan said that as an immediate measure police deployment has been increased in the state and an alert has been issued across the country. He added that the CPRF, Rapid Action Force and State reserve police have been deployed at sensitive locations.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik meanwhile, told the media that a red alert had been issued, given that this was a sensitive situation. "The holy month of Ramzan is on. 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", he said.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde offered his full cooperation to the Maharashtra government in dealing with any situation arising out of the violence. "I appeal to the people to maintain peace. There is peace even in Assam. No one should spread any rumours. We will take strong action against rumour mongers," he told reporters.
A photographer from Sakal Times, Prashant Sawant, 50, was also seriously injured in the violence along with at least three other photo journalists.
With inputs from agencies