The Pune Police have denied All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi permission to hold a rally in the city’s “communally sensitive” Bhavani Peth locality on Tuesday. The rally was planned by the party’s city unit to promote a candidate ahead of the February 21 Pune Municipal Corporation elections, according to a The Times of India report.
The Bhavani Peth Police said Owaisi had a “reputation for making speeches that are inflammatory and socially divisive in content”, The Hindu reported. Apart from saying that the rally was planned for an area not suitable for holding public addresses, police officers also said they also refused to give him permission as there was a threat to his life. Deputy Commissioner of Police Sudhir Hiremath said it had asked the party to “give alternative spots [for the rally], which will be considered for permission”.
However, AIMIM leader Anjum Inamdar said the party and its alliance partners would contest the police decision. “This prohibition order by the Bhavani Peth Police and their remarks against Mr Owaisi in particular are highly objectionable,” Inamdar said, adding that police in other parts of Maharashtra and the country had not objected to Owaisi holding rallies. “Candidates from other political parties have been campaigning for aspirants in this area without restraint.”
The AIMIM has partnered with groups such as the People’s Republic Party, the Bahujan Republican Socialist Party and the Republican Yuva Morcha to contest the elections against the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Nationalist Congress Party.