Bengaluru cops slapped a notice on Asaduddin Owaisi
The Bengaluru city police on Thursday slapped a notice on MIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, barring him from entering Bengaluru city for seven days from February 19 to 25.
A team of police officials from Bengaluru visited the MIM headquarters at Darussalam in Hyderabad and served the notice on behalf of that city’s police commissioner M.N. Reddy.
The commissioner barred Mr Owaisi under Section 144 (3) of CrPc, and restrained him from participating in and or speaking at any public meeting or function, directly or through audio-visual or any other medium, in the city for seven days.
The MP was to address a public meeting organised by the MIM Bengaluru unit on February 21. Party members said that Bengaluru police had earlier granted permission for a public meeting on February 8, which they later withdrew. The MIM challenged it in the Karnataka High Court. The Bengaluru police told the court that they would allow the MIM meeting, if the party sought permission from the local DCP to conduct a meeting on February 21.
The commissioner said the in the notice that Mr Owaisi had “lashed out at the well-known actor Salman Khan for joining Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a kite-flying ceremony in Ahmedabad, during a speech on January 24, using caustic words.”
Mr Owaisi’s panning of Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev was cited as another reason.
Reacting to it, the MP said, “The notice has pained me as I am an Indian who can speak in Parliament, but not in Bengaluru City. Inshaallah that day is not far off when my views will be heard in Bengaluru City”.
Mr Owaisi told the commissioner, “Sir, it seems that you are a fan of Salman Khan and don’t want any criticism against him. You feel that I cannot criticise Baba Ramdev.”
He said he would challenge the notice in the court, since it sought to interfere with his right to expression under Article 25 of the Constitution and added he would continue to exercise his right by criticising Mr Modi and the Karnataka CM, Mr Siddaramaiah.
Dubbing the notice as biased and not based on truth, the Hyderabad MP pledged to continue championing for rights of minorities, weaker sections and backward classes till he died.
Referring to the notice, he said, “I have cases against me and I am innocent until proven guilty. I am sure that the courts will do justice to me.”
He blamed the commissioner for passing ex-parte orders, without hearing him out. “As a citizen of India, I accept your notice but reject its contentions,” he asserted.
He felt the notice is a means to prevent his party “from strengthening its base before the Bengaluru Municipal elections (slated later this year).”