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Protest, shutdown in old city over attack on Owaisi

Protest, shutdown in old city over attack on Owaisi

After Friday prayers at the mosque, some people, especially youth, raised slogans condemning the attack and denouncing the BJP and UP Police. They tried to take out a rally but dispersed peacefully after advice from community elders.

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Hyderabad: There was mild tension around the historic Mecca Masjid here on Friday as some people tried to take out a rally to condemn the attack on AIMIM President and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi in Uttar Pradesh.

After Friday prayers at the mosque, some people, especially youth, raised slogans condemning the attack and denouncing the BJP and UP Police. They tried to take out a rally but dispersed peacefully after advice from community elders.

Police had made elaborate security arrangements around the mosque and historic Charminar to prevent any untoward incident. Additional police personnel, including Rapid Action Force (RAF) in riot gear, were deployed in the sensitive area as a precautionary measure.

Security was also beefed up at other places in the old city of Hyderabad and other towns in Telangana to maintain law and order.

Meanwhile, traders in the old city voluntarily observed a shutdown as a mark of protest over the attack on Owaisi. The usually busy markets around Charminar wore a deserted look. Traders put up black flags to condemn the attack.

Some shopkeepers had downed shutters since Thursday evening when the word spread about two assailants opening fire on Owaisi’s vehicle when he was returning to Delhi after an election rally in Uttar Pradesh. Some people had also staged a protest near Charminar on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, special dua (supplication) was made for Owaisi’s safety and long life during Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid and at other mosques in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana.

At Mecca Masjid, AIMIM MLAs Ahmed Pasha Quadri, Mumtaz Ahmed Khan and other leaders prayed for Owaisi.

Asaduddin Owaisi’s younger brother and AIMIM leader in Telangana Assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi rushed to New Delhi on Thursday night.

Owaisi escaped unhurt when two men opened fire at his car when he was returning to Delhi after campaigning in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut.

The MP’s SUV came under attack at a toll plaza in Hapur in western Uttar Pradesh. He left for Delhi in another vehicle.

Police arrested both the assailants. Owaisi has demanded the Election Commission to order an independent inquiry into the attack. He also sought an inquiry by the governments in UP and at the Centre.

The AIMIM chief has been campaigning aggressively in UP for the last few weeks. His party has already announced that it will contest 100 seats in the state.