Raza Academy is a Sunni organization of Indian Muslims that aims to promote Islamic Sufi Culture through publications and research works. The organization mainly publishes Sunni books and literature. The headquarters of the organization is located in Mumbai. Mohammed Saeed Noori is its Founder Secretary.
2012 protest in Mumbai
On 11 August 2012, a protest against the riots in Assam and attacks on Muslims in Myanmar was held at Azad Maidan in Mumbai. The protest was organised by Raza Academy, and was attended by two other groups. It ended in violence, killing two and injuries to 54 others including 45 policemen. Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik said it was around 3 pm that the crowd turned violent, after some protesters showed “provocative photos” of the Assam violence. “Some people started raising slogans against the police and media. They set fire to police vehicles,” said Patnaik. “As we tried restraining the crowd, a scuffle broke out between the protestors and police.”
The Mumbai Police Crime Branch suspects that the riot situation outside Azad Maidan was part of a "big conspiracy". Crime Branch sources said the police are probing the alleged role of "outside agencies". Crime Branch officers said the police felt that the violence may have been pre-planned as the protestors were equipped with gear to torch vehicles. According to the police, protestors set fire to three media outdoor broadcasting (OB) vans and four police vans besides damaging several vehicles, including BEST buses. At least 30 vehicles were damaged in the incident. One of the police vans damaged belonged to the riot control police (RCP). The police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the crowd. Two of the OB vans belonged to ABP News and P7 news. Of the 54 injured during the riots, 45 were policemen. Eight of these policemen sustained serious head injuries. The police claimed that “at least five woman police constables were molested by mob." There were also reports that a few of the rioters had stolen police weapon and fired in the air and at the police. However, no casualties were reported due to the firing. Some photographers were also reportedly injured during the violence. The police later claimed that provocative pamphlets were distributed during the protest. An officer stated that they are probing the source of the pamphlets. "The content on the pamphlets was provocative. We will be trying to get to the source and question him."
President of the Raza Academy Alhaj Mohammed Saeed Noori Sahab said the “miscreants” involved in the violence were not associated with the academy. “Our protest was peaceful,” he said. Noori, however, stated, an “irresponsible” speech had been made during the rally, which the Indian Express claimed, exacerbated tensions. Noori said: “There were several persons on the stage. One irresponsible person made statements regarding the media coverage. He was immediately stopped and attempts were made to calm the situation. We had no idea that this will happen,” he said, condemning the attack on the media. Mohammed Saeed Noori, said his organisation won’t pay for the damages caused during the violent protest.
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- "‘Raza Academy will not pay for damages’". Hindustan Times. 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-19.