Owaisi defends backing IS suspects, says Muslims must not be ‘generalised’

Hyderabad : Condemning the acts of the extremist Islamic groups such as the ISIS in unequivocal terms, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday said ‘generalising and blaming’ the entire Muslim community, especially at times when several suspected terrorists have been arrested by the NIA, ‘should not happen’.

“I have condemned ISIS. In my speech I spoke against them for 20 minutes and you (media) do not want to carry that. I also condemn this generalisation and blaming the whole Muslim community. And also blaming whole of south of Hyderabad. In south Hyderabad people of all communities are living peacefully. I will continue to condemn ISIS, it is a terrorist organisation. This is everyone’s stand in the community,” he told media here.

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief had on Friday announced that his party would provide legal aid to five IS suspects arrested from Hyderabad earlier this week by the National Investigation agency.

Backing his party’s decision, Owaisi said that the legal system would anyway have offered legal help to the accused and urged the media not to blow the issue out of proportion and be a hindrance in the legal process.

“You (media) are trying to make a big issue out of the help offered. If we do not give them legal help them court will give them legal help. This is democracy, this is how justice works,” he said.

Owaisi asserted his firm belief in the courts and the legal system, but hinted that NIA’s actions have not been entirely consistent in such cases.

“Look at the role of NIA in recent times. (Swamy) Aseemanand was given bail in Mecca Masjid case, then you shouldn’t have appealed against the bail. What was your (NIA) role in Malegaon case, you said Pragya had played no role, but then court had to intervene. What we are saying is that let the court decide and you present the evidence. If court finds them guilty then yes, they are guilty,” he said.

According to reports, Owaisi had earlier decided to support the accused after the family members of the youth met AIMIM chief and claimed that they are innocent. The Hyderabad MP then said he had directed a lawyer to provide the legal help.

On the other hand, the National Investigation Agency ( NIA) on Friday received 12-day custody of the five accused, who were arrested from Hyderabad over suspicion of having terror links.

The agency had detained 11 people for suspected terror links in raids conducted at several places in Hyderabad on June 29. (ANI)