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Doha Time & Temperature

Mumbai attacks were spontaneous, says youth leader
Wednesday, 12 March, 2008, 08:32 AM Doha Time

Staff Reporter
THE recent attacks against people from northern Indian states in Mumbai was neither orchestrated nor planned, a leader of opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said yesterday.
Sanjay Upadhaya, president of the Mumbai unit of the Bharatiya Yuva Janata Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, was in Doha to attend the 3rd Conference on ‘Enriching the Middle East’s Economic Future’ that concluded yesterday.
Upadhyay said the attacks were the results of a spontaneous outbursts between the activists of two groups, one of which had been linked earlier to the main opposition party of Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena. “However, they could not succeed in spreading it beyond Mumbai and Thane limits,” he said.
Upadhyaya, whose ancestors hailed from Uttar Pradesh, said the BJP fear another round of riots against Mumbai’s north Indians before the next elections to the State legislative assembly, due next year.
He said opposition parties have already pointed out this possibility and the state Chief Minister Bilasrao Deshmukh has been told to act before something similar occurs.
The youth leader said the attackers had not succeeded in paralysing the city’s businesses, mostly run by non- Maharashtrians, as they had hoped for.
“Had it spread like the rioters expected, Mumbai’s image as a business centre would have been affected badly at the international level,” he said.
“However, contrary to what appeared in most newspapers initially, the attacks had no blessings of the Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackrey,” he said.
Most language newspapers failed to mention Thackrey’s spontaneous disowning of attacks on the residence of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

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