Akbaruddin Owaisi attacked with knives, shot 3 times, critical

Story Dateline: First appeared in The Indian Express newspaper on 2011-05-01.

Tension prevailed in old city areas of Hyderabad on Saturday after assailants attacked Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi with knives and then opened fire on him, injuring him seriously. The condition of Owaisi, who took three bullets, was stated to be critical till late night.

Akbaruddin, 39, is the younger brother of MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, the Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad.

Police Commissioner A K Khan said that the incident occurred in Barkas area in Chandrayangutta from where Akbaruddin is the MLA. Akbaruddin and another MIM MLA from Malakpet, Ahmed Bhalala, were on routine rounds in the area when four persons, allegedly owing allegiance to a property dealer Mohammed Phelwan, a former party member, attacked him. They first attacked Akbaruddin with knives and then opened fire when he ran towards his car. Bhalala, who intervened, was also seriously injured but was declared out of danger later in the evening.

Police said one of the assailants, Irfan, believed to be a nephew of Mohammed Phelwan, was injured when the security personnel of Bhalala opened fire. He died later at the hospital.

Officials said that Phelwan, a former member of MIM and friend of Owaisi fell out with him over some land dispute. Supporters of both Owaisi and Phelwan had clashed during the May 2009 elections too.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy visited Akbaruddin at the Owaisi Hospital in Santoshinagar. As large number of agitated MIM workers gathered outside the hospital following the incident. Police sent additional forces, including personnel of paramilitary Rapid Action Force (RAF), to prevent possible violence.

A bandh like situation prevailed in the old city area. The MIM has called a total bandh on Sunday.

Akbaruddin is the leader of MIM in the assembly. The party has seven legislators in the 294-member House.

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