The City police on Friday recorded the statement of general secretary of Raza Academy, Mohammed Saeed Noori, involved in organising protest rally at Azad Maidan last Saturday that later turned violent.
Noori, 52, was one of the 17 prominent persons whose name figured in the FIR but not as an accused, police said adding that he was the first to appear before the cops to record his statement. The police have also summoned 16 others.
Noori claimed that the rally was a peaceful prayer meet while anti-social elements were involved in the rioting.
At least 52 persons, including 44 policemen and some media persons, were injured in the violence during the rally on Saturday which was organised to denounce ethnic riots in Assam. According to police, at least 20,000 people participated in the rally.
As many as 24 alleged rioters have been arrested on charges of murder, molestation and kidnapping.
The rally was organised by Madina Tul Ilm foundation in association with Raza Academy.
In his statement, Noori claimed that violence was never in their mind and they did not know who circulated the provocative messages.
Noori told PTI, "I informed the cops that we had not expected such a huge crowd and violence was never in our mind. We expected the crowd of 1,000 to 15,000 people. We had organised the meeting to discuss the sufferings of our Muslim brothers in Assam and Burma."
"I also informed the police that it was a peaceful rally and anti-social elements outside the ground instigated people and carried out the unfortunate violence," Noori said.