Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi has accused the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh of being "communal" in charging his younger brother Akbaruddin Owaisi with waging war against the state under Section 121 of the Indian Penal Code.
The younger Owaisi, who is a legislator in the state, was arrested on Tuesday by the Hyderabad police on charges of delivering a hate speech in Adilabad last month. He faces a number of charges including sedition, 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.
Speaking to NDTV, his older brother Asaduddin Owaisi, who is a Lok Sabha MP, said, "By booking him under section 121, the government has shown its communal bent of mind...the feedback I am getting is that people are really angry. They are questioning how the government can impose section 121 of the IPC...how the government can say that Akbaruddin Owaisi is waging war against the government."
Akbaruddin Owaisi was sent to jail for two weeks by a court early yesterday morning. The court also rejected his petition seeking transfer to a Hyderabad jail on medical grounds; he will be in the Adilabad jail till January 22.
The MLA, who heads the MIM in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, had spent Tuesday night at the police station in Nirmal town of Adilabad district, about 200 km from Hyderabad, where he was taken amid tight security after his arrest. There was tension near the police station as some legislators staged a protest when they were not allowed to proceed towards it. Some of them had earlier tried to stop the convoy carrying Mr Owaisi but were dispersed by the police.
Prohibitory orders (under Section 144 of the CrPC) are in place in sensitive areas of Adilabad and in Nizamabad, where the MIM leader is facing another case.
The legislator, who returned from London early on Monday, represents Chandrayangutta constituency in the Old City of Hyderabad for a third time.