Owaisi statement taken, arrest likely

With the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA, Akbaruddin Owaisi, refusing to appear before police over the hate speech case, the Nirmal (Rural) police on Monday evening went to Owaisi's Banjara Hills house and recorded his statement. They once again asked him to appear at the police station.

Hundreds of MIM activists tried to prevent the police from entering his house forcing the DCP (West Zone) to intervene. Owaisi's lawyers meanwhile filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking dismissal of all cases against him.

The officers of the Hyderabad Task Force are camping near his house and he is likely to be formally detained later in the night. Owaisi had returned from London on Monday morning.

Despite summons from police, he stayed at his house with MIM leaders and lawyers. While the Nirmal Town police had asked him to be at the station on Monday, the Nizamabad police had asked him to appear before it on Tuesday.

But on Monday afternoon, Owaisi's lawyer informed the police that the MLA would appear before them after four days as needs to complete his medical treatment.

Sources said the state government does not want to arrest him as it would make him an instant hero.

"He is looking for a safe way out. He does not want to be seen by his people as surrendering after making fiery speeches. The government does not want to make him a hero by arresting him. We will wait and see how this issue plays out," a top official said.

Owaisi was booked last week for making hate speeches in Adilabad and Nizamabad district last month. After a court directed the police to register cases against Owaisi, Nirmal (Rural) police had asked him appear at the station on January 7. The Osmania University Police has asked him to appear on January 10.

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