Anti-Assam riot: Two dead, 52 hurt as protest turns violent
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Two persons were killed and at least 52 injured, including 44 policemen, when a protest here against Assam riots turned violent as demonstrators torched vehicles and pelted stones, leading the police to fire in the air and use batons to disperse the unruly mob today.
Hundreds of people turned up at Azad Maidan Ground, the popular protest venue, in south Mumbai this afternoon on a call given by a city-based outfit, Raza Academy, to denounce the riots in Assam and also alleged attacks on minority community in Myanmar. Awami Vikas Party (AVP), a political outfit floated by former police officer Shamsher Khan Pathan, also took part in the protest.
The protesters suddenly turned unruly and set afire vehicles, damaged buses and pelted stones.
Police opened fire in the air and resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob, said a policeman deployed at the Azad Maidan.
At least 54 persons were injured and two of them later succumbed to wounds in a government hospital at south Mumbai.
"Two youths, Mohammed Umar (22) and Altaf Shaikh (18), who were injured in the violence and were in critical condition, died while undergoing treatment at St George Hospital," a civic body official said.
Among the injured were some mediapersons, including Prashant Sawant of `Sakal Times' and Vivek Bendre of `The Hindu'. All injured were shifted to J J Hospital, St George Hospital, GT Hospital and Bombay Hospital, police said.
The Crime Branch has been asked to conduct a probe into the violence, police said, adding some people have been detained.
Police said the situation was brought under control in an hour and normalcy has returned to the area.
"A red alert has been sounded across the city. Whether the violence was a premeditated act or not will be known only after investigations," Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, who visited the spot, said.
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