[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Deaths reported at Indian protests
At least two people killed and 18 others injured as protests against religious riots in Assam and Myanmar turn violent.
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2012 15:57
Both protesters and police officers were injured when Saturday's rally in Mumbai was broken up [Reuters]

Thousands of people demonstrating over ethnic riots in the northeastern state of Assam and in neighbouring Myanmar have clashed with police in Mumbai, killing at least two people and injuring 18 others, according to Indian media reports.

Arup Patnaik, Mumbai's police commissioner, said on Saturday that police officers fired guns in the air to disperse thousands of Muslims who threw rocks and damaged about a dozen buses and police vans in India's financial capital during a demonstration against the deaths of Muslims in rioting last month in the country's northeast.

Thirteen police officers and five protesters were injured, police officials said.

The protesters also burned three TV broadcasting vans, complaining that media coverage of last month's rioting in Assam state was biased against the Muslim victims, the commissioner said.

The AFP news agency reported that the demonstrators had gathered in south Mumbai following a call by a city-based Muslim organisation Raza Academy to denounce the clashes in India's Assam state.

The protesters, wearing black badges converged at the Azad Maidan, a public square, to express solidarity over the oppression of the Muslim community in both Assam and Myanmar.

Hafiz Bashir Ahmed, a provincial lawmaker from Assam, asked the protesters to maintain calm and not aggravate the issue.

"The news we heard about the protest rally turning violent in Mumbai is deplorable. I have heard that the
protestors attacked the media, I don't know the root cause but if it's true then it's not correct. People should not
get emotional," said Ahmed.

According to the website of The Times of India, Raza Academy has distanced itself from the violence.

"While we were protesting, some people got aggressive and started behaving violently," Mohammed Saeed, general secretary of the academy, was quoted saying.

"We never encourage violence and strongly condemn such acts."

Assam violence was sparked off on July 20 when unidentified men killed four youths in Kokrajhar district, according to
police and district officials.

In retaliation, armed Bodos attacked Muslims, believed to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, suspecting them of
being behind the killings.

Surrounded by China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan, India's northeast is home to more than 200 ethnic and tribal groups and has been rocked by separatist revolts since India's independence from Britain in 1947.

365

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
join our mailing list