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Central & South Asia
Dozens arrested over deadly clashes in Mumbai
Authorities step up security and detain 26 people as protests against religious riots in Assam and Myanmar turn violent.
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2012 13:07

Authorities in India have arrested 26 people a day after violent clashes that spilled on to the streets of Mumbai, claiming two lives and injuring 55 others.

Demonstrations had taken on place on Saturday to denounce the recent ethnic riots in Assam state and alleged attacks on Muslims in neighbouring Myanmar, before the mayhem ensued.

Crowds wreaked havoc by pelting stones and setting fire to a media van, public transport and commercial vehicles. Authorities at the scene were also attacked.

Prithhviraj Chavan, chief minister of the western Maharashtra state, issued orders for an investigation as he confirmed that 45 police personnel were among the injured.

Authorities say July's violence in Assam's Kokrajhar district was ignited when four youth were killed by unidentified men.

Armed members of the Bodo community retaliated by attacking Muslims whom they suspected were behind the killings.

'Concern for all of us'

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Asaduddin Owaisi, the member of parliament for Hyderabad, said the Muslim community had appealed for calm and he was certain that the situation would not escalate into any full-scale riots.

Owaisi said: "Unfortunately two people have lost their lives unnecessarily, the media have been attacked, but what has happened in Assam is of concern for all of us."

Referring to the situation in northeastern Assam, he said: "There are 400,000 Muslims who live over there.

"More than protests, we need to come to the rescue of those people who require our help. They require medical supplies … basic amenities ... clean water."

In the recent past, a wave of strong anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment against Bangladeshi settlers has been vented by the country's Hindu and Christian communities. Authorities in Mumbai remain on alert.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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