Jan 03, 2013 at 01:13pm IST

10 days later, Cong seeks action against MIM MLA Owaisi for hate speech

Hyderabad: Almost 10 days after All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi's brother Akbaruddin Owaisi made an alleged hate speech against a community, state Congress has finally promised to take action against him, who, not for the first time, has been proved controversial.

"Our government has taken cognizance of speech and we are collecting evidence to build a strong FIR and a water-tight case where we can book the person causing hatred," said Abid R Khan, General Secretary of Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee.

Owaisi had made the incendiary speech, using inflammatory and derogatory words, in Adilabad on December 24, 2012. A Hyderabad court has also admitted a criminal complaint against Owaisi.

"Yes there has been a criminal complaint filed. We will abide by whatever the court decides. (I) do not want to comment any further as it is now sub judice," Akbaruddin's brother Asaduddin Owaisi said.

In Owaisi's case, unlike in the case of Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi who was jailed and indicted by the Election Commission for a hate speech made by him in 2009, the response from the media and political community has been slow, despite the issue being a buzzing topic on social media platforms like Twitter.

Actor and director Farhan Akhtar had tweeted, "how can 2 girls be arrested in less than 24 hrs for a harmless FB post but Owaisi roams free after his blatantly communal rant? #JustAsking." It is almost 10 days later that the criminal court has admitted a complaint and Congress has demanded strict action against Owaisi for promoting enmity between communities.

This is not the first time that Akbaruddin, currently in London, has proved controversial. Five-years ago, he and his supporters had physically attacked the Bangladeshi writer, Taslima Nasreen for her alleged anti-Muslim views. The MIM was a part of the United Progressive Alliance alliance till a few months ago even though the Owaisis have had a track record of raising the communal temperature with their speeches.

The hate speech of the junior Owaisi has raised questions of whether notions of secularism tend to be selective and why the Owaisis have been allowed to get away for so long. Akbaruddin is an MLA in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, representing the Chandrayangutta constituency in Hyderabad.

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