Shots were fired at the vehicle of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday, February 3, in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Assembly elections. While he was unhurt, the Hyderabad MP said that the bullets pierced the tyres of his car, and that he left the venue in another vehicle. He said that 3-4 people were involved in the crime.
CCTV footage of the incident, which took place near the Chhajarsi toll plaza, have surfaced. The visuals show a man in a red hoodie running through the toll plaza, and is seen brandishing a gun towards the distance. Seconds later, a white car — which Owaisi was travelling in — is seen zipping past him from the right and heading onto the highway. A man wearing a white shirt is seen entering the toll plaza from the direction of the car with a gun in his hands. He is seen pointing the gun behind him to make sure no one is following him, and running away.
The incident took place at 5.30 pm on Thursday. Two men, Sachin and Shubham, have been arrested. Hapur Superintendent of Police (SP) Deepak Bhuker said that some time after the first accused Sachin was arrested, police also arrested Shubham. The SP said that preliminary interrogation revealed that the accused were distressed by certain statements made by Owaisi. According to several reports, police claimed that the accused were allegedly hurt by Owaisi’s remarks on Hindus. A detailed probe is being carried out into the motives for the attack, the SP said. Owaisi has urged the Election Commission to order a probe into the incident, as it is “the responsibility of the state and Union governments to probe the matter.”
"I was leaving for Delhi after a poll event in Kithaur, Meerut, in Uttar Pradesh. Three to four rounds of bullets were fired upon my vehicle by two people near Chhajarsi toll plaza. They were a total of 3-4 people. Tyres of my vehicle were punctured. I left in another vehicle,” he said after the incident.
Owaisi has been campaigning for the AIMIM in Uttar Pradesh, ahead of the upcoming state Assembly elections. Last month, Owaisi had announced the launch of a new front, Bhagidari Parivartan Morcha, comprising parties with a support base among Muslims, other backward classes (OBCs) and Dalits for the 2022 UP Assembly elections.
In September last year, Owaisi’s official residence in New Delhi was vandalised while he was in Uttar Pradesh. Five members of the Hindu Sena were later arrested by the Delhi Police for their alleged involvement in the vandalism. The accused were armed with axes and also pelted stones at the residence, the complaint said.