Hyderabad: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, who has been booked for delivering alleged hate speeches, filed a writ petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court asking for a stay on arrest and filing of more FIRs on similar grounds. The High Court is likely to take up the writ petition on January 9.
Earlier, questions were raised as to why Hyderbad Police did not arrest Owaisi on arrival at the Hyderabad airport on Monday morning. Owaisi returned early on Monday morning from London to a rousing reception by his supporters at the airport and told the police that he would surrender later as he was not well.
It seems Owaisi is using ill health to get away and are police going slow on the MIM MLA. Even as the police failed to arrest him at the airport, Owaisi approached the investigating officer in Adilabad and asked for a four-day extension citing ill health.
Prohibitory orders, however, remain in force in Nirmal town of the district till 6 on Monday evening in anticipation of his meeting with the police. He was directed by the court to appear before the police in Adilabad district on Monday and in Nizamabad town on January 8.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that Owaisi's hate speech was a dangerous trend. "Political parties, who claim to be secular, did not speak up. When Owaisi gave the hate speech, the people present there were clapping and cheering for him. This is a dangerous trend," said BJP leader Balbir Punj.
When asked if the police anticipated any trouble due to his appearance, a police officer said, "Everything will be taken care of". On Saturday, Andhra Pradesh DGP V Dinesh Reddy said Owaisi informed police that he was undergoing treatment in London and would appear before it shortly.
Another notice was served to the MIM legislator by Osmania police asking him to appear before it on January 10. While two FIRs were registered suo motu at Adilabad and Nizamabad districts, a third case was registered by Osmania University police, following a court directive after Owaisi allegedly used inflammatory language against a particular community last month.
Fresh complaints continued to pour in against Owaisi from Malkangiri and Vanasthalipuram, though no cases have been registered, police said.
Owaisi, who represents Chandrayangutta Assembly constituency, has been booked under Sec 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and Sec 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of IPC.
The MIM legislator has also been booked under Sec 121 (waging or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India) of IPC.
Meanwhile, TDP and BJP leaders held protests at various places in the state, demanding action against Owaisi. TDP MLA Revant Reddy demanded that Owaisi be disqualified for his comments. Speaking at a protest, state BJP president G Kishan Reddy said that steps should be taken to ensure that Owaisi returns to India to face the law.
(With additional information from PTI)