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Hyderabad tense after AIMIM chief Owaisi taken into custody

Owaisi’s supporters damage vehicles and property, force shops in many parts of the city to close
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First Published: Mon, Jan 21 2013. 11 11 PM IST
Police charge supporters of Asaduddin Owaisi at a protest in Sangareddy town. Photo: PTI
Police charge supporters of Asaduddin Owaisi at a protest in Sangareddy town. Photo: PTI
Hyderabad: Asaduddin Owaisi, president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), was arrested on Monday in a 2005 case of obstructing a government official, sparking an outbreak of violence in Hyderabad.
His supporters damaged vehicles and property and force shops in many parts of the city to close.
The member of Parliament (MP) from Hyderabad was remanded in judicial custody till 2 February by a court in Sangareddy town in Medak district, 55 km from Hyderabad. He had surrendered before the court after it dismissed his petition to cancel a non-bailable warrant issued against him in the case.
Owaisi, the first accused in the case, was charged with rioting, promoting enmity among different groups on the basis of religion and allegedly preventing officials, including the then collector A.K. Singhal from demolishing a place of worship during the widening of the Mumbai-Hyderabad national highway.
The AIMIM called for a bandh on Tuesday in Hyderabad, the traditional stronghold of the party, to protest against the arrest of its president. The AIMIM has held the Hyderabad parliamentary seat since 1984.
The arrest comes a few days after younger brother and state legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi was arrested for allegedly delivering a hate speech at a public meeting in Nirmal town of Adilabad district last month. The younger Owaisi, also an AIMIM leader, was arrested on 8 January.
Akbaruddin Owaisi is also an accused in the 2005 case and was produced before the Sangareddy court on 17 January.
The AIMIM pulled out of the Congress-led government in Andhra Pradesh, and the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre in November after a rift with chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy over the expansion of a temple abutting the historic Charminar monument in Hyderabad.
The tension over the arrests comes a week before the Union government is to announce its decision on the formation of a Telangana state, on 28 January.
Andhra Pradesh has been hit by a series of protests in the past few years over the demand for a separate Telangana region carved out of the state. The AIMIM exerts some influence in the Telangana region, which includes Hyderabad.
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First Published: Mon, Jan 21 2013. 11 11 PM IST
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