A local court in Telangana on Wednesday asked the state police to register an FIR against All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi over an alleged hate speech, days after the Karimnagar District Police gave him a clean chit.
Bethi Mahender Reddy, an advocate from Karimnagar had moved a local court after the police said that his complaint did not stand legal ground to register an FIR.
It was in a public meeting on July 23 in Karimnagar town, that Akbaruddin Owaisi, known for his controversial remarks, said, "The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) can't do anything. They can't even pluck a strand of hair. Remember, the world only scares those who fear. But the world fears the person who knows how to scare others. Why do you hate Akbaruddin Owaisi? (Is it because) a hundred hits from a goldsmith is equal to a single hit by a blacksmith?"
Following this, Akbaruddin went on to refer to his infamous '15 minute' comment.
On December 22, 2012, Owaisi had addressed a massive rally in (then Andhra Pradesh's) Nirmal town. In the speech, he had made a comment about "removing the police for 15 minutes off the streets", suggesting violence would erupt between Hindus and Muslims.
Owaisi was arrested in January 2013 for the comment, on charges of hate speech, waging war against the country and having intention to cause riots, and had been granted conditional bail after spending 40 days in prison.
In his speech last week, Owaisi referred to his earlier '15-minute' comment and suggested that the RSS was still scared of his threat, which has triggered a major row in the state.
In his petition to the court, the complainant pointed out that "the accused had not changed his attitude" and added that he should obey the fundamental duties listed in the Constitution of India as he was an elected member of the state's Legislative Assembly.
Contending that the comments were 'provocative', the complainant said that the speech should be considered as an offence under sections of the IPC dealing with promoting enmity between classes and also intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace.
As a video of the recent speech also went viral, Akbaruddin Owaisi issued a statement on July 26, where he said, "I recently gave a speech at Karimnagar, wherin I did not give any offensive or illegal statement nor hurt the feelings of any community. But some persons with an ulterior motive for their political gain, are adding words and creating different meaning as per their own desire and imagination, approaching the police and misleading them."
"My speech doesn't constitute any offence; I have not contravened any provision of law," he added.
Meanwhile, an official from the Karimnagar 3-town police station said that they were reviewing the case and would follow due procedure.