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Akbar Owaisi arrested for hate speech

Andhra Pradesh,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Politics, Tue, 08 Jan 2013 IANS

Hyderabad, Jan 8 (IANS) After day-long drama, MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was arrested Tuesday evening on charges of making a venomous speech last month.

Amid tight security, the legislator was taken to Nirmal town in Adilabad district, about 200 km away. Police diverted traffic and sounded an alert along the highway to prevent any untoward incident.

The MIM legislator was taken into custody after subjecting him to a series of medical tests at the government-run Gandhi Hospital through the day to ascertain if he was fit to face questioning.

Owaisi had Monday sought four days time to appear before police in Nirmal and Nizamabad towns in connection with cases booked against him Jan 3 for allegedly delivering hate speeches last month.

Owaisi, who returned from London early Monday, faces charges of waging or attempting to wage war against the state, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, and for deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings.

The 42-year-old heads the MIM in the Andhra Pradesh assembly. Representing Chandrayangutta constituency in the Old City of Hyderabad for a third time, he is the younger brother of MIM chief and MP Asaduddin Owaisi.

The younger Owaisi's alleged remarks against the majority community sparked widespread protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its frontal groups across the state.

Their activists and supporters also filed a series of complaints against him in several police stations.

Police imposed prohibitory orders in Nirmal and other towns in Adilabad district and in Nizamabad district.

Security was also beefed up in the Old City of Hyderabad and other parts of the state capital. Police and paramilitary forces were deployed.

The legislator underwent 11 tests, and medical reports revealed that he was fit to face the investigation.

Akbar's lawyer alleged that he was not given the reports. He criticized the police attitude towards Akbar Owaisi although he suffers from hernia and the pains due to a bullet embedded in his body.

The legislator was shot and critically injured by his rivals at Barkas in his constituency in May 2011.

Earlier, tension prevailed outside the hospital with hundreds of MIM workers reaching there to show solidarity with their leader.

Some pelted stones on buses and other vehicles, forcing police to use force to disperse them. Police sealed off all routes leading to the hospital.

Owaisi Monday moved the high court, seeking orders to restrain police from arresting him.

He also pleaded that the police be directed not to book further cases. The petition is likely to come up for hearing Wednesday.

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