After much drama the Andhra Pradesh police on Tuesday have finally arrested Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Member of Legislative Assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi for his alleged hate speech. Owaisi underwent a medical test at the government hospital before his arrest.
Owaisi's legal team will now apply for bail before the sessions court. They will, however, await the outcome of the writ petition filed by Owaisi before the high court seeking quashing of charges against him.
The police are likely to keep him under medical supervision. Although the medical report cited three problems, the police said that it was not good enough to evade arrest. "The cases are non bailable; he will be in our custody and all medical facilities will be provided," an official said.
While political leaders are apprehensive about the repercussions of Owaisi's arrest on the law and order situation in Hyderabad and across the state, police officials have pointed out that the fear of communal clashes cannot act as a deterrent in arresting an offender.
According to a source who is part of the investigations, the police believe that a strong message should be sent out against hate speeches and their dangerous effects on society.
The police have already taken all precautionary measures and stepped up security in various parts of the state. Security has been heavily strengthened in the old city of Hyderabad, which is considered a stronghold of the MIM. Special forces have been called in to maintain calm in this area.
After Owaisi returned from London on Monday, several meetings were held between government officials, politicians and Intelligence Bureau sleuths to decide on the next course of action.
The ruling politicians were not keen on Owaisi's arrest as they believed that it would stoke communal tensions and create a sympathy wave in his favour.
In its report on the ground situation, the Intelligence Bureau admitted that there was likelihood of trouble in certain pockets but if the police acted promptly, the situation would not spiral out of control.
Police officials point out that though Owaisi was given a chance to explain himself, he seemed to have scant regard for the law.
He was summoned to the police station but the MIM leader refused to make an appearance, claiming that he was unwell.
The police from the Nirmal district visited his home and questioned him on Tuesday morning. They later insisted that he undergo a medical test in a government hospital.
The Nirmal rural police from Adilabad district on Tuesday morning visited Owaisi's residence at Banjara Hills in Hyderabad.
The investigating officer found Owaisi to be fit and said that he can be questioned. The police insisted that he should undergo medical tests at a government hospital.
Owaisi was then taken to Gandhi Hospital where he was subjected to 15 tests.
Owaisi has already been issued notices to appear before the Nizamabad Police on Tuesday and also before the Osmania University Police on January 10 in connection with further probe into the cases registered against him.
The high court, which is on vacation, is likely to take up the matter for hearing on Wednesday.
Photograph: Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi arrives at Gandhi hospital for a medical test in Hyderabad.