Akbar Owaisi sent to jail for 14 days

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 09, 2013 12:28 hrs

Hyderabad: Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was Wednesday sent to judicial custody for 14 days on charges of delivering a hate speech.

The Andhra Pradesh legislator faces charges including sedition and waging war against the nation.

After questioning the legislator through the night, police presented him early Wednesday before a magistrate in Nirmal town in Adilabad district, around 200 km from here.

The MIM leader was then shifted to the district jail in Adilabad town, 90 km from Nirmal.

A police petition seeking his seven-day custody for further questioning will come up for hearing later Wednesday.

Akbar Owaisi's lawyer moved a petition seeking his transfer to Chanchalguda Jail in Hyderabad on health grounds.

However, police filed a counter, claiming that all health facilities could be provided to him in jail.

Akbar Owaisi was arrested in Hyderabad Tuesday evening after he was subjected to medical tests through the day at the government-run Gandhi Hospital.

He was booked in Nirmal Jan 3 in connection with a venomous speech delivered by him in Adilabad Dec 22 against the Hindu community.

He is facing serious charges ranging from sedition to waging war against the government.

Police had initially booked the legislator for promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial to harmony as well as waging or attempting to wage war against the state.

The latter charge carries death sentence or life imprisonment.

Akbar Owaisi now faces five other charges: criminal conspiracy, sedition, threatening people to give false evidence, doing public mischief and disobeying official orders.

After the questioning Tuesday night, police added charges under five more sections of the Indian Penal Code.

He is facing similar charges in Nizamabad town.

Police in Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and other districts also booked cases against him on complaints by activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its frontal organisations.

In another development, a court in Warangal district Wednesday directed police to book the MIM leader. The direction came on a petition by a lawyer.

Meanwhile, the situation in the old city of Hyderabad, an MIM stronghold, remained tense but peaceful.

For the second consecutive day, most of the shops and business establishments around the historic Charminar and other Muslim-majority areas remained closed.

MIM has not called for a shutdown in Hyderabad and its chief and Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi appealed to people to maintain peace.

However, shopkeepers in the main markets in old city voluntarily observed the shutdown.

Police and paramilitary forces were deployed around Charminar and interior areas which witnessed communal clashes in November.

Asaduddin Owaisi described the arrest of his younger brother as a conspiracy by the Congress and the BJP.

He said he had full faith in the judiciary and hoped justice would be done in Akbar Owaisi's case.

A shutdown was observed in parts of Adilabad and Nizamabad districts on a call given by the MIM to protest the arrest.

MIM workers took our rallies in some places. The rally in Bodhan town of Nizamabad district led to tension.

Protestors also damaged media vehicles near a court in Nirmal.

Holding pictures of Akbar Owaisi and placards, the MIM activists also held a massive protest in Zaheerabad town in Medak district. They demanded immediate release of their leader.

In another development, Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissed a petition, seeking orders to Youtube to remove Akbar Owaisi's speeches from the popular video-sharing website.

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