The failed assassination attempt on Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM)
legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi has led to outpouring of public
sympathy and thus strengthened the party, says the outfit's chief
As the young leader recovers in a hospital from bullet and stab
injuries, the hoardings, banners and posters displayed outside and
elsewhere in the city are a proof of the mass following the MIM
has, said Asaduddin, a party MP and the victim's elder brother.
Akbaruddin was injured when assailants stabbed and opened fire at
him April 30. One attacker was killed and two others critically
injured when security guards returned the fire. The incident
sparked tensions in parts of the old area of the city that have
been MIM strongholds for nearly four decades.
The MP feels the prayers of the people gave a new life to his
brother, who is leader of the seven-member MIM legislature party
in the Andhra Pradesh assembly.
"People not only condemned the attack but also prayed for his
recovery. Allah has answered their prayers and given him a new
life. I don't think medical treatment alone could have helped
him," Asaduddin told IANS.
He sees the attack as a deep-rooted conspiracy against MIM.
"The attack was not because of a land dispute. It is the first
step in this big unholy conspiracy by forces that could not defeat
us in a democratic manner. They will be exposed.
"We want the government and police to conduct a comprehensive
probe, especially into the conspiracy angle, so that the real
culprits behind this are exposed and arrested," he said.
After camping at hospital for a week when Akbaruddin was battling
for life, the Hyderabad MP is back at Darussalam, the party
Asaduddin is facing the first major crisis after he took over the
reins of the party following the death of his father Sultan
Salahuddin Owaisi three years ago.
"Such cowardly acts will neither affect MIM's popularity nor hit
the morale of its cadre. On the contrary, our belief in the
almighty has gone up and it boosts our morale. It has given a new
purpose to our life," said the London-educated barrister.
Unlike leaders of other parties, the leaders of MIM always moved
without security. Even the attack on Akbaruddin by a group of 12
armed assailants has not shaken Asaduddin.
"I will continue to be amidst people without security. As far as
Akbaruddin is concerned, since he faced a serious incident, we
can't take a chance. He will take security from the government and
we will also take whatever precautionary measures required for
"The rest is in the hands of Allah. As long as we are here in this
world we will live with courage and confidence, raise the issues
of the community and try to find a solution to them," said
Established in 1928 with the aim of keeping the then Hyderabad
State independent, MIM was banned after the state's merger with
the Indian union in 1948. However, in 1958 it was revived with a
new constitution by Moulana Abdul Wahid Owaisi, grandfather of
Asaduddin Owaisi, to champion the cause of Muslims, who constitute
40 percent of the city's population.
The party, however, claims to represent the interests of not just
Muslims but all socially and economically backward classes of
society. It had made a non-Muslim, Alampalli Pocchaiah, as the
city's mayor in the 1980s. It has been fielding many non-Muslims
as its candidates in municipal polls.
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)