Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday said law would take its own course in Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi's case wherein he was alleged to have made a 'hate speech' against a particular community at a public meeting in Adilabad district a few days ago.
"There are two issues here. As an individual he (Akbar) has made such a statement. Is the party's view the same or is it an individual who made the statement...so legally it will be looked into. If anyone speaks in a voice that hurts the religious sentiments of others...law will take its course," Reddy told reporters.
"When a case comes up...when a speech is made by anyone anywhere...case is registered in that jurisdiction. They (police) take legal opinion before registering a case.
The government does not interfere in such things. The agencies, police here, register the case and go ahead," he replied, when asked if a case has been registered against the MIM legislator.
Asked why it was taking so long to register a case against Owaisi over the inflammatory statements, Kiran shot back, "Who said it is taking long?"
"When such statements are made, usually the public prosecutor's opinion is taken and then cases are registered so that legally it is strong when they go to the court. I don't give any directions to state police as far as cases are concerned.
"The police, as per the law of the land and the state, acts. You can be rest assured that any statements which are derogatory, which are provoking or against sentiments of any other community...firm action will be taken," the chief minister asserted.
When pointed out that Akbar was second-in-command of MIM and as such his statements could not be treated as that of an individual, the Chief Minister remarked: "So what, it doesn't make a difference. What difference does it make?"
On if the government was going slow on Akbar as the Congress was considered "minority-friendly," Reddy said, "You know the recent (political) developments in the state.
Congress party or government is friendly towards the minorities so also to all the citizens. We equate all the citizens and all religions and castes or communities equally."
"We are a secular party and a secular government. That does not mean you can give derogatory or provocative statements against others. So the law will take its own course," he added.
When his attention was drawn to similar utterances by Akbar at other places in the state as well in the recent past, the chief minister noted: "People of this state and this great country are very intelligent, specially the minority community. They will not be swayed away by such comments and most of the minority communities are secular and do not like such statements."
"If you see the debates, it was the minorities who have come out openly against them. So please don't mark the minority card to this. It was an individual who made a statement and you can't blame all minorities for that. It is his opinion, not minorities' opinion," he said.
Concluding his media interaction, Reddy remarked, "You are giving too much importance to these things."