MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was Wednesday sent to jail for 14 days for delivering a hate speech and accused of sedition and waging war against the nation even the the Andhra Pradesh High Court reprimanded the legislator.
After questioning Owaisi through the night, police presented him early Wednesday before a magistrate in Nirmal town in Adilabad district, around 200 km from here.
The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader was then shifted to the district jail in Adilabad town, 90 km from Nirmal.
A court in Nirmal Wednesday dismissed Owaisi’s plea to shift him to the Chanchalguda Jail in Hyderabad on health grounds.
The court adjourned till Thursday a police petition seeking his seven-day custody for further questioning.
In Hyderabad, the high court admitted the MIM leader’s petition, seeking orders to quash cases booked against him in various police stations in the state.
Justice Narasimha Reddy adjourned the hearing by four weeks.
But he pulled up the legislator, finding fault with his provocative remarks.
Judge Reddy said that a person holding a responsible position should not make such comments. “Is this what you are giving back to the people of the country for electing you as their representative?” he asked.
He also pointed out that secularism was an integral part of Indian democracy and reminded Owaisi that his late father, Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, had been a MP — and so was his brother Asaduddin now.
In another development, a division bench of the high court dismissed a petition filed by a citizen seeking directions to Youtube to remove Akbar Owaisi’s speeches from the video-sharing website.
The legislator was arrested in Hyderabad Tuesday evening after he underwent medical tests through the day.
He was booked in Nirmal Jan 3 in connection with a venomous speech by him in Adilabad Dec 22 against the Hindu community.
He is facing serious charges, ranging from sedition to waging war against the government.
Police had initially booked the legislator for promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial to harmony as well as waging or attempting to wage war against the state.
The latter charge carries death sentence or life imprisonment.
Owaisi now faces five other charges: criminal conspiracy, sedition, threatening people to give false evidence, doing public mischief and disobeying official orders.
He faces similar charges in Nizamabad town.
Police in Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and other districts also booked cases against him on complaints by activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its frontal organisations.
In another development, a court in Warangal district Wednesday directed police to book the MIM leader on a petition by a lawyer.
Meanwhile, the situation in the old city of Hyderabad, an MIM stronghold, remained tense but peaceful.
For the second day, most shops and businesses around the historic Charminar and other Muslim-majority areas remained closed.
MIM has not called for a shutdown in Hyderabad and its chief Asaduddin Owaisi appealed to people to maintain peace.
However, shopkeepers in the main markets in the Old City voluntarily observed a shutdown.
Police and paramilitary forces were deployed around Charminar and interior areas which saw communal clashes in November.
Asaduddin Owaisi described the arrest of his younger brother as a conspiracy by the Congress and the BJP.
He said he had full faith in the judiciary and hoped justice would be done in Akbar Owaisi’s case.
A shutdown was observed in parts of Adilabad and Nizamabad districts on a call given by the MIM to protest the arrest.
MIM workers took our rallies in some places. Protestors damaged media vehicles near a court in Nirmal.
Holding pictures of Akbar Owaisi and placards, the MIM activists also held a massive protest in Zaheerabad town in Medak district. They demanded his immediate release.