Owaisi brothers to stay behind bars



An Andhra Pradesh court Tuesday dismissed the bail petition of MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi in a seven-year-old case and another court extended the judicial custody of his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi in a hate speech case.

Asaduddin Owaisi is a Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad while his younger brother is a member of the Andhra Pradesh state legislative assembly.

The MP received another setback when a court in Sangareddy town in Medak district near Hyderabad dismissed his bail plea.

Asaduddin Owaisi had Monday appeared before the court, seeking recall of a non-bailable warrant pending against him in connection with a case booked against him in 2005.

The court, however, dismissed his plea and sent him to judicial custody for two weeks. The MP was later shifted to a jail in Sangareddy.

Asaduddin Owaisi and other Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leaders were booked by police when they tried to prevent officials from demolishing a place of worship for expanding a road at Mutangi village in the same district.

Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed Tuesday, while buses of State-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) and auto-rickshaws were off the roads in the old city and other Muslim-majority areas in Hyderabad.

The usually busy markets around historic Charminar wore a deserted look.

Police and paramilitary forces were deployed in the communally sensitive areas to prevent any untoward incident.

The shutdown was partial in Sangareddy and other towns of Medak district, Karimnagar, Adilabad and other districts in Telangana and also in Anantapur in Rayalaseema region.

MIM general secretary Ahmed Pasha Khadri said the party has not called for a shutdown but people were voluntarily keeping their shops and business establishments closed to show solidarity with the Owaisis.

In another blow to the party, a court in Nirmal town of Adilabad district Tuesday extended Akbar Owaisi's judicial custody till Feb 5 in a hate speech case. His 14-day custody was ending Tuesday.

The court extended his judicial remand by another two weeks. The MIM leader was taken to the district jail in Adilabad town, about 90 km from Nirmal.

Akbar Owaisi was arrested Jan 8 for making a hate speech at a public meeting at Nirmal Dec 22. He was sent to judicial custody the next day.

A member of the assembly from Chandrayangutta constituency in Hyderabad, Akbar Owaisi is facing charges of sedition, waging war against the nation and criminal conspiracy.

After arresting Akbar Owaisi, police had re-opened the 2005 case against the powerful Owaisi family, which dominated Hyderabad politics for over four decades.

Political observers say that as the party is mainly run by the Owaisi family, the arrest of the two brothers could land the party cadre in confusion.

United Muslim Action Committee, an umbrella group of Muslim organisations, Tuesday accused the Congress government of targetting Muslim leaders by re-opening old cases and slapping serious charges like sedition on them. The committee's leader Abdul Rahim Qureshi said the government was adopting a vindictive attitude as the MIM had withdrawn its support to the state government.

MIM, which has seven legislators, all from Hyderabad, had snapped its ties with the Congress in November, accusing the government of being soft towards Hindu right-wing groups. -IANS