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Rediff.com  » News » 'Bored' Owaisi demands new bed, TV in jail cell

'Bored' Owaisi demands new bed, TV in jail cell

Last updated on: January 12, 2013 17:25 IST

The police have started interrogating Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen leader Akaruddin Owaisi, who was recently arrested, about his alleged hate speech.

According to police sources, though Owaisi is cooperating with the investigation, it will take the police some time to file a charge-sheet in the case.

Owaisi, say sources, is creating considerable fuss about the lack of facilities in prison and has often complained of boredom. He has urged prison authorities to provide him with another bed as he is unable to sleep on the one he has been given. Owaisi also finds it difficult to sleep on the floor without a cot or a mattress, due to a bullet injury from an earlier attack.

He has also demanded a television set in his cell as he is getting 'bored'. When jail authorities asked him to watch TV in the common room with the other prisoners, he flatly refused.

Earlier, the police had assured the court that they would ensure proper medical care for the MIM leader, who has complained of acute stomach ache. A team of doctors which visits Owaisi regularly found that he is suffering from indigestion.

According to the police, though Owaisi has made several demands, it was not possible for the jail authorities to agree to them till the court certified him as a VIP under-trial prisoner.

On Friday night, Owaisi had complained that his cell was unclean and he was being bitten by bedbugs and ants. But no insects were found when an inspection of his cell was carried out. The legal services authority will now prepare a report on the fussy leader and send it to the court, which will decide whether he will be treated as a VIP under-trial prisoner during the next hearing on January 16.

The police are currently questioning Owaisi about the alleged hate speech. They will also grill authorities of TV channels which aired the speech.

The police will also question Brajesh Vyas and Navender Murari who had posted hate comments against Owaisi on their social networking sites.

The TV channels may claim that they were merely telecasting a news programme, but they can still be booked as they had failed to act responsibly, say sources. This case is being probed by the Osmania University Police under Section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code -- promoting enmity between different groups. The police have sought answers from the following television channels -- 4TV, Ruby TV, Urdu TV and MQ TV.

These channels may be booked for acting irresponsibly but the police is also likely to use the footage recorded by them in the case, said sources.

The police are going through the video footage. They will call members of the audience for questioning too. They will also question Owaisi's driver and bodyguard, who were present at the event.

The police are acting cautiously while interrogating Owaisi. They have been asked by their seniors not to use handcuffs on the MIM leader and interrogate him when his lawyer is present.

Vicky Nanjappa