Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, facing multiple cases for alleged hate speech, will be subjected to medical examination by government doctors on Tuesday as he failed to appear before the police for questioning today citing ill health.
The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) legislator, booked at three police stations in Andhra Pradesh, arrived here from London early on Monday and filed an application before Nirmal police in Adilabad district through his counsel, seeking four days' time to appear before them on health grounds.
Owaisi looked fit to face questioning, IG (Warangal Range) A B Vekateshwar Rao told reporters on Monday night, quoting Investigating Officer of Nirmal (Rural) police station A Raghu who visited Owaisi's residence.
However, Owaisi complained of "internal pain" and hence the IO will subject him to medical examination by government doctors on Tuesday, he said.
Depending on the availability of doctors and the situation, the examination will be conducted at a hospital or any other place, including his residence, Rao said.
After the MLA sought time to appear before the police citing health grounds, the IO visited the lawmaker's residence in Banjara Hills area here this evening to enquire about his medical condition, the IG said.
The Investigating Officer decided to visit Owaisi's home after his counsel submitted a letter to Adilabad police saying he was not in good health, Rao said.
A large number of supporters of Owaisi, who is also MIM's floor leader in Andhra Pradesh Assembly, gathered outside his residence when the police team arrived there.
Asked whether police were going slow in questioning the 42-year-old MLA and if he will be arrested if medical report confirms that he is fit enough, Rao said "we are moving ahead as per law and every decision will be taken accordingly."
Besides Adilabad district, FIRs have been filed against Owaisi in Nizamabad and Hyderabad. Nizamabad police have asked him to appear before them tomorrow and Hyderabad police on January 10.
Earlier, tension prevailed at the MIM leader's house in the posh Banjara Hills neighbourhood as a large number of his supporters gathered outside, raising slogans in his favour. Some of the protestors were holding placards. "Why all rules for Akbar Owaisi, not for Narendra Modi or Praveen Togadia," read one such placard.
Two police officers from Nirmal left the house after they spent 45 minutes. Citing ill-health, Owaisi who returned from London early Monday, did not travel to Nirmal, about 200 km from here. Police had directed him to appear before Nirmal police station Monday morning.
In his petition, Owaisi also sought directions to police to stop registering cases. He argued that cases can't be registered in many police stations over his one or two speeches.
He alleged that a section of media telecast only part of his speech and police booked cases due to pressure from media. He also claimed that his political rivals were filing series of complaints. The petition will come up for hearing on Jan 9.
Earlier, two lawyers, who reached Nirmal police station on behalf of Owaisi, submitted doctors' report.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its frontal organizations meanwhile continued their protests against Owaisi in various parts of the state. A shutdown was observed in Nirmal, where prohibitory orders were imposed.
BJP workers took out a rally in Nirmal and tried to lay siege to the police station where Owaisi's lawyers was meeting the police officials. Police have arrested some protestors.
BJP staged protests at various places in Hyderabad, Adilabad, Nizamabad and other districts, demanding immediate arrest of the legislator. The protestors set afire the effigy of the MIM leader.
Owaisi arrived at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here around 3 a.m. to a warm welcome by MIM leaders and hundreds of supporters. He later drove to his house.
Police in Nirmal last week booked the 42-year-old MIM leader under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 121 (waging or attempting to wage war against the state), Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and Section 295A (for deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).
The Nizamabad police, who too booked him under Section 153A and 295A of the IPC, also directed him to appear before them Jan 8 for questioning over a speech he made in the town.
The Osmania University police in Hyderabad also have slapped a case against him at the directions of a city court, and summoned the legislator Jan 10.
In another development, the ethics committee of the state assembly at its meeting Monday decided to recommend to assembly speaker to take action against Owaisi for his provocative speeches. It decided to take up the issue in the next session.
Meanwhile, MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said now that his brother is back in Hyderabad, he would appear before the appropriate authority. "We will face the case legally and we are not going to run away," he told a meeting at MIM headquarters.
He alleged that the ruling Congress and BJP had joined hands to target Akbar Owaisi and MIM.