CCTV grab may exonerate Azad Maidan riot accused
The family of one of the accused who was arrested by Mumbai Crime Branch (CB) for the Azad Maidan violence has claimed that he was at his home during the riots. The family has also produced footage of CCTV cameras installed at their Dadar residence to the court as well as the Crime Branch showing that the boy was not involved.
Aslam Shaikh (19), a FY student of Maharishi Dayanand College was arrested after the riots on August 11 at Azad Maidan. “The police arrested my younger son Aslam at the Azad Maidan police station,” said Ali Ahmed Shaikh, Aslam’s father, who is a businessman and has an office at Zaveri Bazaar.
“Aslam had come at 9.39 pm on August 10 and left home at 4.34 pm on August 11. When the riot took place, he was told that the college was closed due to the violence in Azad Maidan,” said Aslam’s brother, Azhar.
The family has also provided 12 CDs of CCTV footage to Crime Branch as proof of his presence at home. “Crime Branch can also take statements of the watchmen and the other people of the building. My son had gone with one of his friends to Azad Maidan police station to pick up his friend’s bike. That was when he was arrested by the police,” said Ali.
“The riots took place between 3:15 pm to 4 pm on August 11. How could Aslam have reached the spot when there was heavy traffic and it takes at least one hour to reach Azad Maidan from Dadar?” asked Azhar.
Soon after the riot, cops picked up 23 people from south Mumbai, including Aslam and booked them on charges of murder, attempt to murder, rioting, kidnapping and molestation.
Police said they would go through the CCTV footage and once it was proved that any of the arrested was not involved in rioting, he would be let off accordingly. “We have got the CCTV footage from the family and we are verifying their claims. If required, we will release Aslam under section 169,” said a senior CB officer.
Meanwhile, Crime Branch presented all the 23 accused arrested in the Killa court that granted them police custody till August 24. “We are yet to recover some weapons from them. We are also trying to investigate from where they obtained the firearms. Also, 150 bullets are still missing,” the officer added.