One more arrested for Mumbai’s Azad Maidan violence

Mumbai: A man who snatched and fired a police gun during the violence at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan Saturday, which left two people dead and another 100 injured, was arrested Thursday after identification on the basis of CCTV footage, police said.

“Salim Allarakha Choukiya alias Ali, 23, had snatched a rifle from a policeman during the riots. He has been arrested from the Anand Nagar area of Oshiwara (in northwest Mumbai),” said Ravindra Patil, assistant police inspector from the Oshiwara Police Station.

According to officials of the crime branch, which is probing Saturday’s violent protests here against alleged atrocities on Muslims in Assam, a video footage from Azad Maidan showed Ali as firing a self-loading rifle (SLR) after snatching it from a policeman.

Patil said Ali defended himself by saying that he abandoned the rifle at the spot before escaping from there and did not fire it.

According to an official, Ali stole the rifle and ran a little ahead of the spot and started dancing.

Other rioters also joined him. Noticing that a team of policemen was heading towards them, Ali abandoned the gun and fled from the spot.

The official said that the accused will be produced in court Friday.

According to officials, before snatching the gun, Ali was armed with iron sticks. He works at an electronics shop in Musafirkhana area of the city.

Ali has been booked under Indian Penal Code sections pertaining to murder, attempt to murder, molestation, physical attacks on police and public, damage to public and private properties, theft of government weapons, unlawful assembly and other charges.

On Sunday, Mumbai police had booked 23 accused under the same charges.


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