Organisers of the protest rally at Azad Maidan could face a stiff bill for the riots that broke out three weeks ago. A preliminary report compiled by the Crime Branch estimates that property worth Rs 2.12 crore was damaged in the fracas, and the investigating team will now submit a letter to the collector’s office, which will then forward it to the organisers asking them to pay for the damages caused.
The August 11 protest rally that ended in vandalism and destruction of property was organised by Madinatul Ilm while Raza Academy supported it and participated in it. “If the organisers fail to pay for the damage caused, their properties might be attached, although it’s a very lengthy process,” said a Crime Branch officer, on condition of anonymity.
On the day of the incident, several rioters went on a rampage torching police vehicles, BEST buses, media vans, and other private vehicles present at the spot. Based on the property that was damaged, the Crime Branch officials corresponded with respective agencies and then arrived at the provisional figure, which could go up further. “We had written to various organisations, including the BEST, and the police department’s vehicle section. We also liaised with private news channels to ascertain the damages. The primary estimates have touched Rs 2.12 crore,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (Crime).
Apart from this, the BMC has also sent a bill of Rs 3 lakh to the Mumbai police commissioner pertaining to the damage of the Amar Jawan memorial, which will also be recovered from Raza Academy. The BMC has also expressed its willingness to register a separate FIR for the damages to the memorial, but cops are yet to take a decision on this matter.
“We will send the total to the Mumbai collector who will recover the money from the organisers. If necessary, the participants in the rally will be asked to pay as well, regarding which a call will be taken soon,” said the Crime Branch officer.
Rs 3 lakh
The bill that the BMC has sent to police pertaining to the damage of the memorial, which will also be recovered from Raza Academy