The famous Owaisi brothers of AIMIM seem to be on cloud 9 these days. Over a period of years, the duo have worked relentlessly to position their party AIMIM in such a way as to earn the tag of being the only party that stands and takes care of the interests of the muslims in India. With the Muslim representation in Parliament at an all time low since independence, the community sees the Owaisi brothers as a ‘Messiah’ sent to guard their community interests from the ever increasing right wing brigades.
Reaping the benefits of the same, the Owaisis are busy expanding AIMIM and transforming it from being a regional party based in Hyderabad into a national level party that promises to offer a platform to represent the voice of the oppressed minorities from across the country.
Consolidating on their previous morale boosting performance like the bagging of the Byculla seat and making inroads into Maharashtra in a big way, AIMIM has this time fielded 25 candidates for the poll to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The Party’s popularity and the shifting of loyalties of majority of the muslim community to AIMIM has rattled not only the traditional Congress but the present ruling parties too.
Today, the AIMIM chief and MP Asaduddin Owaisi was denied permission to hold a public rally in one of the wards of the city ahead of the February 21 municipal election.
The Khadak police station denied the permission citing that the area (which was identified by AIMIM for the rally) was “sensitive” because of its mix population and since Owaisi’s speeches were “inciting” and “communal” in nature, there could be a threat to his life.
“Keeping in view the law and order situation, the permission cannot be granted to the rally,” stated the letter by Khadak police to party’s city unit.
The city unit of AIMIM had sought permission to hold a rally in Seven Loves Chowk on February 14.
However this denial of permission has been contested vociferously by not only AIMIM but also those concerned citizens who want free and fair elections to be conducted.
“Yesterday, we received a letter from Khadak police station in which police informed us that the permission to hold a rally in the area had been denied,” said AIMIM’s Pune city unit chief Anjum Inamdar.
He alleged that “police’s view is biased in nature and his party condemns such a view”.
Inamdar said Owaisi has so far addressed over 60 rallies in Maharashtra as well as poll-bound Uttar Pradesh however, “there is not a single incident where any controversy happened due to his speeches”.
“The allegations of police about communal and inciting speeches are unacceptable and we will soon seek legal action against the police officer,” said Inamdar.
He alleged that police were “partial” in their approach and it was a clear cut case of violation of freedom of speech.
“This is the same place where Congress state president and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan held a rally last month, however, no objection was taken by the authorities,” the AIMIM leader alleged.
However, Raghunath Jadhav, senior police inspector of Khadak police station, said the place identified by AIMIM was congested and not even 500 people could gather over there.
“Since over 10,000 people are expected to come to the rally, there could be law and order situation, so we have asked them to identify a bigger place such as a ground where large number of people can be accommodated,” said Jadhav.
If the estimates of gatherings by the Maharashtra police is an indication, the increasing popularity of Owaisi brothers has breached the closed boundaries of many a states that on few earlier occasions too had not allowed the brothers permission to address rallies.