With the death of two more persons, the toll in Thursday's stampede incident at a suburban slum has risen to 18 even as 17 people were arrested on Friday for spreading rumours leading to the commotion in Nehrunagar and Subhashnagar in north-west Mumbai.
"Seventeen people have been arrested in two incidents of rumour-mongering in Nehrunagar on Thursday. We will take strictest action against rumour-mongers if such incidents come to light in the future," Police Commissioner A N Roy told PTI.
Rumours of a reservoir burst and a tsunami scare lead to the stampede in which 16 people, including eight children and seven women, died on Thursday night. Two of the injured are in a critical condition.
Terming Thursday's incident as a serious one, Roy stressed on stopping people from spreading rumours that may lead to casualities.
Police sources said, of the 17 arrested, six persons were travelling in a car and found spreading rumours in the Subhashnagar slums and it is suspected that they were a bunch of thieves planning to loot houses after residents fled homes.
Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil has warned of stern action against people spreading rumours.
In some other parts of the city, residents bashed up a few persons who were spreading rumours.