Hyderabad: Tension prevailed in areas surrounding the historic Charminar here on Friday after suspected MIM supporters pelted stones at police protesting the arrest of MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi for his alleged hate speech, injuring five policemen and some mediapersons.
Scores of protesters pelted stones at cops after the Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid near Charminar, prompting police to lob teargas shells to disperse the mob, police said.
"The protestores have been dispersed. The situation has been brought under control and it is peaceful now," Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma told reporters.
The police was in the process of booking cases in connection with the stone pelting incident.
Sharma said the police were verifying the CCTV footage, he said, adding the action will definitely be initiated against the stone pelters.
"Patrolling has been intensified in all sensitive areas of Old City as a precautionary measure," a police officer said.
Police had already made elaborate security arrangements in Old City, which is said to be a stronghold of MIM following the arrest of Owaisi.
After the prayers, the protesters raising pro-MIM slogans took to streets near Hussaini Alam and Shahalibanda localities demanding the immediate release of Owaisi, who is currently under judicial custody and lodged in Adilabad District Jail.
Police arrested Owaisi, leader of MIM legislature party in the Legislative assembly, from Gandhi Hospital here on January 8 in connection with an alleged hate speech case booked against him by Nirmal Town police.
Owaisi, accused of sedition and criminal conspiracy for his "hate speech" also faces similar cases registered by Nizamabad Town police besides Osmania University police here.
A Nirmal town court is expected to decide on Friday on whether to send MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi to police custody even as his supporters clashed with police in Hyderabad. The police has sought Owaisi's custody for seven days to interrogate him. He was sent by a court to jail for two weeks on Wednesday.
Court summons Owaisi on Feb 4 in another hate speech case
A local court on Thursday took cognisance of a complaint against Owaisi for his alleged "hate speech" and issued summons directing him to appear before it on February 4.
The II Metropolitan Magistrate Court of L B Nagar took cognisance of a complaint filed by one Balam Ishwar Yadav after he saw a video online wherein Owaisi allegedly made a provocative speech against a particular community.
The petitioner earlier requested the court to take cognisance of the complaint rather than issuing a direction to the police and sought for issuance of summons.
He sought the court to take the matter itself under section 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to hurt religious feelings) IPC after which the court ordered for issuance of summons against Akbaruddin asking him to appear before the court on February 4.
The court directed Meerpet police to serve the summons against Akbaruddin, who is presently lodged in Adilabad District Jail, Assistant Public Prosecutor L H Rajeshwar Rao told PTI.
Akbaruddin Owaisi, accused of sedition and criminal conspiracy for his "hate speech" was arrested from Gandhi Hospital here on January 8 and taken to Nirmal town of Adilabad district in connection with a case already registered by them against him.
Meanwhile, the Additional Judicial First Class Magistrate court in Nirmal town posted for tomorrow hearing on the police custody plea of Owaisi, leader of MIM legislature party in the legislative assembly, after the prosecution sought time for arguments on his counter application.
Final arguments and orders on Akbaruddin's special prisoner status was also posted for tomorrow.
Cases against Owaisi show govt's 'communal bent of mind', says brother
MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday said the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh displayed its "communal mind" by booking serious cases against his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi.
The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MP told reporters that the Congress would have to pay a heavy political price in the next election.
"By booking serious cases, the Congress government has displayed its communal mind," Owaisi said.
The younger Owaisi has been charged with sedition, waging war against the nation, criminal conspiracy among others.
Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that only people belonging to minorities, backward classes and tribal communities were charged under serious sections.
"The court will decide whether he was right or wrong. The court decides on the basis of evidence and the facts. We will continue to fight the cases legally," he said.
Asaduddin, who along with other MIM leaders offered prayers for an early release of Akbaruddin, said he had full faith in Allah.
He rubbished Telangana Rashtra Samithi's allegation that Akbaruddin Owaisi's controversial speeches were part of a conspiracy to stall the formation of a Telangana state.
Speaking to CNN IBN, Asaduddin also did not attempt to distance himself and the party from the speech.
"We are never against any religion. The alleged hate speech is subjudice and we are not going to run away from law, we will face it," he said.
Akbaruddin was sent to judicial custody till January 22 on Wednesday and his supporters attacked media vans in Adilabad on Wednesday following the move.
The MIM leader, who was arrested on Tuesday for his hate speech at a rally last month, was produced before the magistrate early on Wednesday and sent to Adilabad Jail.
Hate speech charges against Owaisi baseless, says his party
MIM on Thursday said the allegations of hate speech levelled against party MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi were "baseless" and the matter would be decided in the courts.
The entire episode is a conspiracy hatched against the Hyderabad-based party by Andhra Pradesh's Congress Government in connivance with BJP, said Asaduddin Owaisi, the MIM President and brother of the jailed legislator.
"Akbaruddin Owaisi, by coming back (from London), has clearly shown he wants justice to be done to himself. This is a baseless allegation made against him. The Government, in connivance with BJP, has conspired against MIM party. The courts will decide whether he was right or wrong," he told reporters here.
Akbaruddin was yesterday sent to 14 days judicial remand in Adilabad district, a day after he was arrested on sedition, criminal conspiracy and other charges for making a "hate speech" last month.
Asaduddin, Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad, and party supporters today offered prayers for the 42-year-old MLA from Chandrayangutta here.
MIM, which has a strong political base in Hyderabad's Old City areas, had been a Congress ally. However, MIM late last year withdrew support to the Congress both at the Centre and state, but both parties continue to share power in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).