Were the riots that shook Mumbai on Saturday, spontaneous or were they part of a planned conspiracy? Top officials of the Mumbai Police have told NDTV that they are in possession of CCTV visuals that show a mob boarding a local train at the Kurla Station on the Central Line and alighting at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus which is right opposite Azad Maidan. They add that this mob was carrying sticks and rods and they also have visuals that show some of them pouring petrol from cans to set vehicles on fire.
Now, videos taken on mobile phones that have been posted on the internet seem to suggest that the mobs were indeed armed. In one video shot outside the Azad Maidan, a group of rioters are seen trying to bring down a police van. Seen in the visuals are several men with sticks and rods in their possession. Another man, clad in a red-coloured pathani is seen trying to stop the crowds from going berserk. But the mob ignores him and continues vandalising the police van.
The second video has been shot of another group attacking a fire engine that was rushed to douse media and police vehicles that were set ablaze. Once again, here too one of the rioters is seen wielding a stick, while the rest are pelting stones at the fire engine. The driver of the vehicles is not seen but its siren continues to wail in the background. Again, one of the members in the mob is spotted attempting to stop the mayhem.
The police believe this mob which boarded the train at Kurla, mingled with angry protestors who were already there, instigated the others who seem to have also joined in taking advantage of the situation.