A week after the Azad Maidan riots, Bharatiya Janata Party, carried out a protest from Metro cinema to the Maidan yesterday strongly condemning the clashes. While things were expected to turn ugly with a crowd of 1,500 people, as Mumbai is still fresh with the wounds of last Saturday’s clashes between the police and the unruly crowd, yesterday’s protest ended on a peaceful note.
BJP leaders pray at the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial. The party strongly condemned last Saturday’s clashes outside the Maidan
According to BJP’s city president, Raj Purohit, the party had organised the rally only to protest against the desecration of the memorial. But some leaders in their address went ahead and declared that the two young men should be hanged in public.
However, later Purohit urged the public against doing anything untoward. “Our main aim is to show how to hold a protest. Ours was also a protest but it was a peaceful one unlike the last week’s protest,” he said.
The leaders where upset that the crowd had attacked the police and especially lady policemen. “We demand that the home minister should resign, as well as the CP Arup Patnaik, who let go the culprits,” said one of the BJP leader, while addressing the gathering at Metro cinema. Later BJP leaders gathered at Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial and prayed there.
Since Saturday afternoon, the police had gathered in huge numbers outside the Azad Maidan and was all set to take action to stop any untoward incident. However, the police on the assurance that the protest would be a peaceful one, did not stop the proceedings