Did retired cop 'invite' rioters to Azad Maidan?

A retired police officer has come under the scanner following the statement received from an August 11 rioter, who was arrested on August 24. 

riot, Bangladeshi nationals
Riot is wrong! A Crime Branch officer revealed that the same ex-cop had organised a meeting in Wadala two days prior to the riot. Bangladeshi nationals were also present there. File pic

The alleged rioter — Sayyed Mohammed Tabrej — who was arrested from Antop Hill, has claimed that on the eve of the riot, the officer organised a meeting with Bangladeshi nationals at Bangalipura, where he allegedly exhorted them to attend the gathering at Azad Maidan to protest against the killings of Bangladeshi Muslims in Assam and Burma.

On August 24, officers of the special investigation team (SIT) arrested three accused – Sayyed Mohammed Tabrej, Waseem Noor Mohammed Khan and Imran Sheikh, on the basis of CCTV footage, which showed Tabrej and Khan pelting stones, and Sheikh setting fire to a police van.

Earlier investigations into the case has revealed that many of the rioters were Bangladeshi nationals who were invited to the rally by an organisation, and went on a rampage after its chief said that it was mostly people of their nationality who were being brutalised in Assam and Burma.

Crime Branch sources revealed that Tabrej in his statement had revealed he was encouraged by the retired police officer to attend the rally. Paying heed to his advice, he arranged for over 100 men to be present at Azad Maidan. The meeting was held at 11.30 pm, in Bangalipura, Antop Hill and the retired cop allegedly delivered a speech to the gathering.

“I have a CD with the speech. We will record his statement soon,” said an officer on condition of anonymity. The SIT has summoned 17 accused in the matter and we have already recorded some of their statements till now,” said one of the officers in the team.

Another top cop from the Crime Branch revealed that the same officer had organised a meeting in Wadala two days prior to the riot. Bangladeshi nationals were also present here.

“If Tabrej’s statement is confirmed in course of the investigation, his pension might be stopped by the government,” said an officer on condition of anonymity. 

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