Hyderabad, Jan 21 (IANS) MIM chief and parliament member Asaduddin Owaisi's arrest sparked violent protests and shutdown in parts of the city Monday and police went on high alert to prevent more trouble.
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) workers took to the streets in the old city and other areas of Andhra Pradesh's capital to protest Owaisi's arrest. Some buses and shops were damaged in stone pelting.
Protestors hurled stones at buses and shops in posh Banjara Hills, M.J. Market, Lakdi Ka Pul, Amberpet and Patthargatti areas. They raised slogans against the Congress government and burnt effigies of Chief Minister N.Kiran Kumar Reddy.
Tension gripped the communally sensitive old city and some parts of Hyderabad after Owaisi was sent to jail till Feb 2 by a court in Sangareddy town in Medak district in a seven-year-old case.
The MIM leader, his younger brother Akbaruddin Owaisi and others were booked by police Mar 16, 2005, for obstructing officials from carrying out demolition of a place of worship to facilitate road extension at Muttangi village.
Shops and business establishments were shut in the old city, the MIM stronghold, and in commercial hubs like M.J. Market, Nampally, Mallepally, Mehdipatnam, Banjara Hills and Charminar.
As panic spread, schools and colleges allowed students to leave early.
Police and paramilitary Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed around the historic Charminar and other sensitive areas. Senior police officials were monitoring the situation. Police also intensified patrolling in the communally sensitive areas.
Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said barring minor incidents, the situation in the city was peaceful. He appealed to people to remain calm.
The arrest of Asad Owaisi, a Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad, came close on the heels of the arrest of his younger brother and state legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi.