Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, who was arrested on Tuesday by the Hyderabad police on charges of delivering a hate speech last month, has been sent to judicial custody till January 22.
Mr Owaisi spent the night at the police station in Nirmal town in Andhra Pradesh's Adilabad district. He was presented before the magistrate in the early hours today and sent to Adilabad Jail at the crack of dawn. Mr Owaisi has reportedly asked magistrate to be shifted to Hyderabad and a decision on this is expected later today.
Mr Owaisi was brought to the rural police station in Nirmal, about 200 km from Hyderabad, at 10 pm yesterday amid tight security. 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 Adilabad and Nizamabad, where the MIM leader is facing another case.
Police officers began questioning Mr Owaisi with regard to the speech delivered by him at a public meeting in the town on December 24. He was accompanied by his younger brother Burhanuddin Owaisi, Editor of Urdu daily 'Etemaad', and his lawyer.
Mr Owaisi was taken into custody on Tuesday after being subjected to a series of medical tests at the government-run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad. The legislator underwent 11 tests, and medical reports revealed that he was fit to face investigation.
There was high drama at the hospital too with hundreds of MIM workers reaching there to show solidarity with their leader. Some pelted stones on buses and other vehicles, leading police to use force to disperse them.
Mr Owaisi had, on Monday, sought four days' time to appear before police in Nirmal and Nizamabad towns in connection with cases booked against him on January 3 for allegedly delivering hate speeches last month.
The legislator, who returned from London early on Monday, faces charges of 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.
The 42-year-old heads the MIM in the Andhra Pradesh assembly. Representing Chandrayangutta constituency in the Old City of Hyderabad for a third time, he is the younger brother of MIM chief and MP Asaduddin Owaisi.(With inputs from IANS)