Sedition charges slapped on Owaisi for hate speech
MIM leader sent to 14-day judicial custody in Adilabad
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi, who has been arrested for his alleged hate speech, was on Wednesday remanded in 14-day judicial custody by the Nirmal Munsif Court here.
The MLA was produced before Munsif Judge Ajesh Kumar at Nirmal in Adilabad district in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday morning. The judge dismissed Owaisi's plea to be shifted to a Hyderabad hospital and asked the police to provide medical aid locally. However, considering the plea for better medical facilities, the judge allowed Owaisi to be shifted to district jail in Adilabad.
The Nirmal town police, who booked the legislator on January 3 under two Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), slapped five more charges and quizzed him for seven hours before producing him at a magistrate’s house.
The police had initially booked Owaisi for promoting enmity between different groups and engaging in acts prejudicial to harmony, and waging or attempting to wage war against the state. The other charge carries death sentence or life imprisonment. According to range DIG Bhima Nayak, the MLA now faces five other charges of criminal conspiracy, sedition, threatening people, doing mischief on public and disobeying official orders.
Meanwhile, at Nirmal, police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the MIM activists who threw stones and damaged OB vans belonging to two national channels parked near the court premises.
The bandh call given by the MIM party in Adilabad and Nizamabad districts on Wednesday received mixed response with only Bhainsa town shutting down completely even as normalcy prevailed in other parts of Adilabad district, Nizamabad and Kamareddy.
Though MIM has not called for a bandh in Hyderabad, police decided not to take chances and beefed up the security in the several areas, especially in the Old City. The sensitivity of the area has prompted police to deploy paramilitary forces around the historic Charminar and interior areas that witnessed communal clashes in November. Security was also tightened in the north Telangana region bordering Maharashtra and Section 144 was imposed on Bhainsa, Adilabad, Ichoda and Nirmal towns.
MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has urged people to remain peaceful. In a statement carried by party-run Urdu daily, “Etemaad,” the Hyderabad MP termed the arrest of his younger brother a “conspiracy” by the Congress and the BJP but said he has full faith in the judiciary and justice will be done in the case.