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Two die in pro-Rohingya rally

Police believe violence was pre-planned

  • Ritu Sharma, New Delhi
  • India
  • August 13, 2012
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Two people were killed and 55 people, including 46 police officers, were injured when a rally in support of Myanmar's Muslim Rohingyas turned violent on Saturday in Mumbai.

Local media reports say the police suspect that the violence was planned and orchestrated. They have arrested 23 people, including rally organizers, on charges that include murder.

The mob torched media vans, three police jeeps and nearly 20 other vehicles during two hours of rioting.

Two Muslim youths were reportedly killed when police opened fire to disperse the crowd. Word of the rally was spread through Facebook and the police say they may involve their cyber crime unit.

Two Muslim organizations, Raza Academy and Madina Tul Ilm Foundation, had organized the rally. Its purpose was  to condemn the recent violence against Muslims in Myanmar as well as in the northeast Indian state of Assam, where clashes between indigenous Bodo tribesmen and Muslim settlers from neighboring West Bengal and Bangladesh have left 65 dead and rendered more than 400,000 homeless.

In western Myanmar, at least 78 people have been killed and thousands left homeless since June in an ongoing conflict between Buddhist Rakhine people and the region's Rohingya minority.
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