MIM legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi was critically injured in firing by a group of assailants in Hyderabad on Saturday.
The assailants are believed to be followers of a local gangster Mohammed Pehlwan. They reportedly opened fire at Owaisi’s vehicle. They also allegedly attacked him with sharp weapons when he was on his way to Barkas area of the city to attend some programmes in his constituency Chandrayangutta.
At least three others, including another MIM legislator Ahmad Bilala, were also injured in the incident.
Akbaruddin Owaisi was rushed to Owaisi Hospital where a team of doctors is treating him.
Hospital sources said that he was hit in the abdomen and has also suffered injuries on his right hand.
“There was a lot of blood loss by the time he was brought here,” sources said.
As the news of his attack spread like wildfire, hundreds of people rushed to the hospital.
Shopkeepers, business establishments and offices were closed in the old city. Security was tightened and additional forces have been deployed.
Police sources said that four persons were taken into custody in connection with the attack.
Eyewitnesses said that one of the assailants was beaten to death on the spot of the attack by Akbaruddin’s supporters.
Akbaruddin’s elder brother and member of Lok Saba Asaduddin Owaisi is on his way to Hyderabad from New Delhi.
According to police sources, Mohammed Pehlwan was angry at Akbaruddin as the letter was freeing up land plots held by him in the old city.
The incident is being seen as a fall-out of the growing political rivalry between MIM and some local groups. Mohammed Pehlwan has reportedly sided with anti-MIM elements after quitting the party.
Akbaruddin, 35, was the leader of the seven-member MIM legislators’ group in the state assembly.
Director General of Police K Aravinda Rao reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting.
Several important political leaders including deputy Speaker N Manohar have rushed to Owaisi Hospital to inquire about Akbaruddin’s condition.