Hyderabad, Aug. 29: A group of minority community members, including women and children, today barged into the city police commissioner’s office to protest against the arrest of eight alleged fundamentalist activists.
Naseeruddin, president of the Tahreek Tahfuz Shuar Islam that allegedly works under the Lashkar-e-Toiba umbrella, and seven others were picked up this morning from a hideout in the city’s Jhangeerabad locality.
Seven more working with Naseeruddin — including Abdul Aziz of Toli Chowk, who has links with Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia-based ISI agent Junaid — are at large, police commissioner R.P. Singh said.
Minutes before Singh’s media briefing this evening on the arrests, about 50 men, women and boys entered the conference hall on the fifth floor of the commissioner’s office at Basheerbagh.
As reporters and their TV cameras waited inside, police stopped many burqa-clad women at the hall entrance. Those who pushed through whipped out placards that read: “Police zulum Down (Down with police atrocities)” and “Do not Harass Innocent Muslim Youth”. The protesters snatched the mikes and told the journalists that those arrested were innocent and demanded the release of “Moulvi Naseeruddin”.
“Our youths are arrested regularly before the beginning of the Ganesh festival without having done anything. How long will this continue'” asked an shouted an elderly woman protester.
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, who was passing by, rushed in to the aid of the agitators.
“You did not think of our (Muslim) youth or poor when you came asking for our votes. Don’t play into the hands of the Hindus now,” said the elderly woman.
After nearly 45 minutes of chaos, cane-wielding police personnel evicted the protesters, who then demonstrated outside the gates before being taken into preventive custody.
This is the first time that Muslim women and youths have resorted to storming the police complex in protest.