A tense atmosphere prevailed in the old city of Hyderabad Tuesday following the arrest of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi for allegedly making hate speeches.
The usually busy markets around the historic Charminar wore a near-deserted look as shopkeepers downed shutters after the word spread about Akbar Owaisi's arrest. Shops and business establishments were also shutdown voluntarily in the many parts of communally-sensitive old city.
Akbar Owaisi was arrested by the police Tuesday evening and taken to Nirmal town in Adilabad district, about 200 km from here, where a case was booked against him.
Police sounded an alert in areas under the limits of 15 police stations in the old city. Armed policemen from the state forces and the central paramilitary forces were deployed to maintain law and order.
The security was specially tightened at the temple abutting Charminar. It was the row over the expansion of temple which led to communal tension and MIM severing its ties with ruling Congress party in the state in November last year.
MIM has seven members in 294-member state assembly. All its legislators are from Hyderabad, the traditional stronghold of the party. Akbar Owaisi is the leader of MIM in the assembly.
MIM chief and Akbar's elder brother Asaduddin Owaisi is MP from Hyderabad. The party has been representing Hyderabad in Lok Sabha for almost three decades.