Hate speech row: Akbaruddin Owaisi petitions AP HC to quash FIRs against him

Akbaruddin Owaisi

MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, who faces charges of making "hate speech", today moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking quashing of FIRs filed against him, even as the BJP accused the Andhra Pradesh government of going soft on him.

Owaisi, who has been booked at three police stations, arrived from London this morning at the airport where a large number of his supporters had gathered.

His counsel immediately filed an application at Nirmal police in Adilabad district seeking four days' time to appear before the police citing health grounds.

A few hours later, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA, who is also his party's floor leader in the Andhra Pradesh state assembly, moved a petition through his counsel in the High Court contending that he has been implicated in these cases due to political reasons.

In his petition, Owaisi's counsel claimed that, "He is an MLA and he is available to the investigation at any time and that there is no need to arrest him.

"Despite the police registering suo-motu cases at Nirmal and Nizamabad police stations, more complaints were being lodged at different places and he sought quashing of all the FIRs registered in Andhra Pradesh," he counsel said in his petition.

The High Court posted the matter to January 9.

Senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu accused the Congress of going soft on Owaisi's MIM as both are still alliance partners in Hyderabad and hit out against the Andhra Pradesh government for allegedly failing to take prompt action over his alleged "hate speech".

"Why this delay in taking action? Why this lenient attitude when there is universal condemnation of his highly objectionable comments? It is the Congress which helped MIM grow? They still share power in Hyderabad corporation. Is this the reason why they are soft," he told reporters here.

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