A Hyderabad court has rejected the bail plea of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) chief and
Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi. He had surrendered in court yesterday in connection with a case filed against him in 2005, and had applied for bail.
A non-bailable warrant had been issued against the politician for repeatedly failing to show up in court. The case against him was filed eight years ago by the local police in the Medak district after his younger brother and others allegedly assisted him in preventing local officials from widening a section of the Hyderabad-Mumbai National Highway near a mosque. Asaduddin Owaisi had been accused of criminal intimidation and promoting enmity on religious grounds.
A shutdown is being observed in Hyderabad and in some other parts of Andhra Pradesh today to protest his arrest. Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in the old city areas of Hyderabad.
State-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) suspended majority of its bus services while auto-rickshaws were also off the roads.
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.
Parts of Hyderabad and several towns in Telangana had also observed a shutdown Monday after Mr Owaisi was sent to jail for 14 days by a court in Sangareddy town of Medak district.
A shutdown is being observed in Sangareddy and other towns of Medak district, Karimnagar, Adilabad and other districts in Telangana and also in Anantapur in Rayalaseema region.
Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from different parts of Hyderabad on Monday.
Some unidentified persons attacked a RTC bus in Bahadurpura in the old city Monday night and tried to set it afire. The bus driver was injured in the incident.
As a precautionary measure, police imposed prohibitory orders in old Hyderabad, Sangareddy and other towns, banning assembly of five or more people.
MIM general secretary Ahmed Pasha Khadri said the party has not called for shutdown but it was people in districts and towns who were voluntarily keeping their shops and business establishments closed to show solidarity with Mr Owaisi.
Meanwhile, a court in Nirmal district today extended the judicial custody of his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi by two weeks. The junior Owaisi was arrested on January 8 in connection with a hate speech delivered last month and is currently lodged in the Adilabad jail.
(With inputs from IANS)