Hyderabad: A shutdown is being observed in parts of Adialabad and Nizamabad districts in Andhra Pradesh Wednesday on a call given by the MIM against the arrest of its leader Akbaruddin Owaisi.
Shops and businesses in some towns including Adilabad and Nirmal were shut, witnesses and officials said.
The MIM legislator was taken to Nirmal town Tuesday night after he was arrested here for a hate speech. He was then shifted to the district jail in Adilabad town.
Police have tightened security in both districts in the north Telangana region bordering Maharashtra. Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more people were imposed in all the towns in the two districts.
A police officer said additional police forces were deployed to maintain law and order. As a precaution, police arrested some leaders of MIM.
Akbar was booked in both Nirmal and Nizamabad for allegedly delivering venomous speeches during public meetings in the two towns.
MIM has not called for a shutdown in Hyderabad, its stronghold, but authorities are not taking any chances. Security was beefed up in all the sensitive areas, especially in the Old City.
The communally sensitive Old City has been tense since Tuesday evening. Police and paramilitary forces were deployed around the historic Charminar and interior areas which witnessed communal clashes in November.
MIM chief and MP Asaduddin Owaisi has urged people to remain peaceful. He described the arrest of his younger brother as a conspiracy by the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Asad Owaisi said he had full faith in the judiciary. In a statement carried by Urdu daily 'Etemaad' which is published by MIM, he hoped that justice would be done in Akbar's case.