During the investigation, crime branch officials found that Nagpada’s notorious trouble-maker Moin Ashraf, alias; Baba Bengali had played a key role in provoking young boys to trigger riots.

The 2012 Azad Maidan riots, also referred to as protests, caused Rs 2.72 crore worth of damage to various public properties. Besides damage caused to public and private properties, the rioters also molested and stabbed women cops, news vans vandalized, and even journalists were attacked.  The rally intended to create fear and communal violence in Mumbai, and IB’s report sent to Maharashtra home department also pointed out Pakistan’s hand in the same. Bangladeshi passports were also recovered from the riots sites.

Overall, more than 65 persons, including 40 police officials ended up injured during the riots. Some earlier estimates had pointed out that the overall damage caused to the public, private property was worth more than eight crores.

Mumbai-based Razaa Academy organized the so-called protest rally. The notorious outfit often makes it in the headlines due to its fatwas.

Initially, the Razaa Academy rejected the police’s findings and claimed they did not play any role in organizing riots. They had no option left after the crime branch’s investigation exposed their part. Crime Branch officials have the testimony of more than one thousand witnesses in the case. A charge sheet consisting of 3384 pages was submitted.

The organization’s general secretary Saeed Noori claims it provides a platform for the Muslim youth to express their anger. However, Muslim intellectuals have a different opinion. They believe it’s a shop that helps in manufacturing protests.

Reports suggest the organization remained out of the police scanner due to the closeness of its office bearers with Maharashtra’s former home minister, NCP’s late RR Patil.

 “Friends in all political parties”

After the change in the state’s political leadership in November 2014, people thought the administration would fast-track the case, recover the compensation for damages from the organization, and ban it if required. Unfortunately, there’s not much progress in the case since 2014. Even the Bombay High Court recently directed the collector to re-look into the compensation part and recover it from all the accused persons, and office bearers of the named organizations.

During the investigation, crime branch officials found that Nagpada’s notorious trouble-maker Moin Ashraf, alias; Baba Bengali had played a key role in provoking young boys to trigger riots. His name is also clearly stated in the FIR and was even declared as a wanted person by the police for a few days when he did not cooperate in the investigation. Creating communal tension is a piece of cake for Bengali Baba, and his level of notoriousness is such that he often files false police cases against journalists who report against him.

“Birthday party with the chief minister”

Unfortunately, six years have passed after the incident, the UPA, as well as NDA Government; have failed to initiate action against Bengali and other ‘prominent’ accused persons. As pointed out in Dabang Dunia Mumbai Edition’s recent report, Baba Bengali can be seen in meetings and taking pictures with top politicians from all the parties. His picture with state’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis and AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan went viral recently.

Page of the charge sheet that mentions Moin Ashraf


“Not even a rupee has been recovered for damages”

“I had covered the incident on behalf of the News Express back then. At that point, I asked Saeed Noori for an explanation. He refuted claims about his involvement.  Saeed Noori is the organization’s general secretary, but the notorious Moin Ashraf alias Baba Bengali manages all the affairs. The crime branch investigation points out that during the Juma Namaz; the organization’s men had urged people for maximum participation. They pre-planned everything and organized riots in the name of protests. Not one or two, but 36 different sections, including 120b, and other charges related to murder, destruction of public property, have been added in the FIR. No compensation for damages has been paid as of now. The organization, as well as Bengali’s name, is clearly stated in the FIR as the main accused number seven. The case is progressing very slowly; the administration has not even appointed a good public prosecutor in this matter,” said Mumbai-based senior journalist Shahid Ansari, while expressing displeasure about the fact that serial offenders are still not being brought to book. Ansari stressed on the point that such ill-famed individuals defame the entire Muslim Community. Young boys are misguided, and then they land up in jails.

“The culprits enjoy a good relationship with the IPS lobby as well as politicians. There’s too much of political interference in the case. First, it was Congress-NCP, now it is the BJP-Shiv Sena. From police constables to police sub-inspectors, the policemen in the lower slab of the pyramid have suffered a lot due to the concerned riots. The IPS lobby is least interested in bringing the culprits to book.  Politicians manage their postings, so, no one wants to make politicians and their friends unhappy. Even the High Court seems to be under pressure of the politicians these days. Corruption cases against politicians remain pending for multiple years. It’s unfortunate that culprits like Baba Bengali are indulged in photo-sessions with even the chief minister,” said Mumbai police’s anti-corruption crusader, Constable Sunil Toke who is following the case closely.

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