Mumbai, (The Hindu): The Mumbai Police on Wednesday have detained over 150 protesters throughout the city for offences ranging from vandalising vehicles to attacking policemen.
All offenders have been booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Maharashtra Police Act.
The police said that the first instance of violence was reported in Chembur early on Wednesday. Seven to eight men pelted stones and damaged vehicles of local residents as well as a BEST bus, but fled when they saw policemen approaching. The police had imposed bandobast since Tuesday night.
Around noon, close to 500 protesters gathered at Panjrapole circle in Chembur and blocked Sion-Panvel highway and Eastern Freeway for over two hours. The police tried reasoning with them, but when the protesters refused to budge, force was used to remove them, officers said.
A mob of protesters descended on Khardev Nagar in Chembur armed with sticks and stones, and vandalised over 100 parked vehicles. Furious residents spilled out on the streets, and the area remained tense till 5 p.m..
The police said that stones were pelted at BEST buses in Govandi, Bhandup and Kanjurmarg. Protesters and policemen clashed in Chembur and Powai, after the agitation got out of hand. An officer said, “Fifteen police personnel from Powai police station and 14 from the Govandi police were injured.”
The police scanned CCTV camera footage to track the movements of the miscreants, and relayed the information to on-ground personnel.
Rumours on social media, particularly WhatsApp, added to the chaos. One of the most serious rumours was of police firing gunshots in the air in Vikhroli to quell protests and a police vehicle being set on fire in Govandi, both of which were debunked by the police. The Thane Rural Police verified that a video of a protest in Bhayender was of an old protest at Pimpri in Pune.
“The process of registration of FIRs against the 150 miscreants is under way,” Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Sachin Patil said.
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