Three Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen legislators and several other activists were arrested on Thursday afternoon for their bid to attack controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen at the press club in Hyderabad.
The trouble arose at the book-release function of a Telugu translation of one of Nasreen's controversial novels at the Somajiguda press club. The Telugu translation of Bengali novel Shodh (Revenge) was rendered by Venigalla Komala. As the function got underway, a group of MIM activists led by MLAs Mohammed Muqtada Khan, Mohammed Moazzam Khan and Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri suddenly descended on the premises.
They stormed the dais and started raising slogans against Nasreen. They rained blows on those who tried to shield a visibly shaken Nasreen. Journalists, press photographers and TV crews intervened and helped evict the MIM MLAs from the hall.
The activists shouted slogans against Nasreen and alleged that she had indulged in anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic writings.
The protest continued even as a police contingent led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Madhusudhan Reddy rushed to the spot. MIM activists staged a noisy road blockade outside the press club before they were arrested.
The police escorted Nasreen to a "safe place." Later, the organizers lodged a complaint with the city police commissioner, demanding action against MIM MLAs and activists. They also demanded an unconditional apology from the MIM.
The MIM has six legislators and one MP from the city.