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Collector to assess loss in Azad Maidan riots by July 1: Bombay High Court

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 - 7:45am IST | Agency: dna

The State government will, by July 1, quantify the damage and loss caused to public property in the riots that took place on August 11, 2012 at Azad Maidan, where policemen were attacked and public vehicles destroyed.

A division bench of justices VM Kanade and PD Kode were informed by public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde that "the city collector will quantify the damage and later issue notices to the people concerned for recovering the loss and it will be done in due course of time."

The court has adjourned the hearing to August 14.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation on this filed by two local journalists. The petitioners have approached high court seeking directions to the collector to conduct an enquiry expeditiously into the riots and recover the loss and damage caused to public and private property in the violence.

On August 11, 2012 two youths were killed and 52, including 44 policemen, injured when a rally called to protest alleged atrocities on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar turned violent near Azad Maidan.

The PIL raises the issue of complete failure on the part of the police and revenue authorities to initiate measures to recovers losses and damages, in accordance with amended section 51 of the Bombay Police Act of 1951. The proviso, as amended in 2008, empowers the district magistrate concerned to conduct inquiry into an incident of riot, determine liability towards losses and/or damages caused during the violence and recover it from the people responsible.

The Mumbai police crime branch has arrested several people in connection with the violence and has charged them with murder, dacoity, rioting and arson, destruction of property and molestation of women constables. Since hammers, knives and empty cans said to have been used to carry kerosene, and a pistol that did not belong to the police were recovered from the spot after the mayhem, police suspect that the violence was pre-planned.

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