Tension prevailed at Nirmal on Monday with BJP activists taking out a rally demanding the arrest of MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, denouncing his hate speech. They took out the rally from their party office at Indira Nagar and covered Balaji Colony before they were stopped at the Nirmal rural police station.
Citing violation of prohibitory orders under Section 144 imposed in the town from 6 am to 6 pm, police took BJP district president R Ramanath and two others into custody, while others fled.
The party activists regrouped again at about half a kilometre from the police station and from there they continued their rally up to old bus station. They were detained by police when they were proceeding towards Jama Masjid.
Shouting slogans demanding the arrest of Akbaruddin, protestors got into an argument with police who asked them to disperse in view of the prohibitory orders. The argument escalated into a push and pull situation when the protestors tried to force their way forward. Police resorted to lathicharge to bring the situation under control and arrested 15 of the protestors, while the rest fled.
The protest, lathicharge and arrest happened prior to the arrival of Akabaruddin’s advocate at Nirmal police station. Several commercial establishments were closed following the bandh called by the BJP. Police imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 in the town in anticipation of MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi appearing before police for questioning, which eventually did not happen.
Police said they will take legal opinion on the MLA’s request for four days time to present himself before the investigators.
Police served a notice on the MIM leader on January 4, after registering a case suo motu under Section 121 of IPC (waging or attempting to wage a war against the state), Section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), for his hate speech at Nirmal last month. Akbar was to appear before Nirmal police on January 7 before 10 am.
Addressing mediapersons, additional superintendent of police Ambar Kishore Jha explained about the request made by Akbaruddin’s advocate seeking more time. “We will take legal advice on the request before taking any action,” he said. In Adilabad town, despite prohibitory orders, BJP activists led by district general secretary D Rajender took out a rally, where they submitted a memorandum to the officials demanding immediate arrest the MLA. Ban orders were also imposed on Bhainsa, Boath and Icchoda for Tuesday.