MIM leader seriously injured in attack

Hyderabad: Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader and MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi was on Saturday seriously injured when four unidentified assailants fired at him in the old city area.

Akbaruddin`s fellow legislator from Malakpet constituency, Ahmed Balala, was also injured in the attack in Chandrayanagutta area when the former about to leave in his vehicle after attending a programme in his constituency, police said.

The three-time MLA does not have a police gunman for escort and most of the time drives the vehicle on his own.

Land dispute was said to be the reason for the attack on Akbaruddin, who had been preventing land-grabbers from encroaching on valuable government land mostly in the old city area.

The police gunman of MLA Balala was said to have retaliated and fired at the attackers, injuring one of them.

Soon after the incident, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy held a high-level meeting with Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy, Director General of Police K Aravinda Rao and Additional DGP (Intelligence) M Mahender Reddy and reviewed the situation.

Kiran later visited Akbaruddin in the Owaisi Hospital where he was operated upon to remove the bullet lodged in his shoulder. The Home Minister accompanied the Chief Minister to the hospital.

Assembly Deputy Speaker Nadendla Manohar also visited the injured MLA in the hospital.

City Commissioner of Police A K Khan was heckled at the hospital by MIM workers for allegedly failing to protect law and order in the city.

Son of MIM-founder and former MP Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, Akbaruddin was first elected to the state Assembly in 1999 and served as a deputy to his elder brother Asaduddin Owaisi, who was leading the MIM in the House.

In 2004, Akbaruddin became the floor leader of MIM in the Assembly upon Asaduddin`s election to Lok Sabha from Hyderabad. He now leads the seven-member MIM in the House.

Telugu Desam Party president and Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu strongly condemned the attack on Akbaruddin and Balala.

Naidu said the incident reflects the "pathetic" law and order situation in the state.

"The Congress government is in such a miserable state that it is unable to provide protection even to legislators," Naidu said in a statement.