Azad Maidan protest was planned weeks in advance,say cops

The August 11 Azad Maidan protest that turned violent was meticulously planned with the organisers holding several midnight “strategy meetings”,Mumbai Police Crime Branch probing the case claimed on Thursday.

Written by Express News Service | Published:September 14, 2012 1:27 am

The August 11 Azad Maidan protest that turned violent was meticulously planned with the organisers holding several midnight “strategy meetings”,Mumbai Police Crime Branch probing the case claimed on Thursday.

Investiagting officers said they had seized several clips of the meetings from those arrested. They said the meetings held weeks before the protest mostly began at midnight and went on till the early hours. The meetings were held at neutral venues.

“None of the midnight discussions took place at the offices of the organisers. We are investigating if this was deliberate,” said an officer.

Police also claimed some of the organisers visited countries in West Asia a few months before the protest. “We are going through the list of persons they met,” said the officer.

Police had summoned 17 people,including the five who addressed the gathering at Azad Maidan. Even as speeches were being delivered,a group of miscreants outside the ground started rioting.

“We have learnt that these meetings continued till 4 am. Food was also served. We are probing the nature of the discussions,” the officer said.

The Crime Branch had initially claimed that most participants came to know of the protest through social networking sites,text messages,advertisements in Urdu newspapers and announcements made during Friday prayers. Police also claimed a two-minute video clip with morphed images of atrocities on Muslims was used to incite the mob.

Several people arrested for the violence told police they were shown images of alleged atrocities on Muslims in Burma.

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