Two persons were killed and 25 injured when protests against the recent ethnic violence in Assam turned severe at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan on Saturday.
Police opened fire and lathicharged when agitators set many vehicles, including media and police vans, afire. About 10 buses of BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport were also damaged, besides OB vans of three TV channels.
Police sources said, of the 25 injured, 18 were policemen and the rest protesters.
State Public Works Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Rural Development Minister Jayant Patil, the Mumbai district guardian minister, called upon the Mumbaikars to maintain peace, while Home Minister R R Patil, who was in Sangli at the time of the incident, had started for Mumbai.
More than 10,000 protesters had gathered at Azad Maidan on Saturday afternoon to participate in the protest, organised by Raza Academy to denounce the violence in Assam and Myanmar. In addition to personnel from the state reserve police force and rapid action force, additional policemen had to be deployed at the site.