MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi injured in firing

Hyderabad, April 30 (IANS) Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader and Andhra Pradesh legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi was critically injured Saturday in firing by unidentified persons, police said here.

He was rushed to Owaisi Hospital in Santosh Nagar.

Another MIM legislator Ahmed Balala was also injured when he tried to save Owaisi.

The incident took place when Owaisi was visiting his Chandrayangutta assembly constituency in the old city of Hyderabad.

According to eye witnesses, four to five persons attacked Owaisi with knives when he was getting into his vehicle after attending a meeting in Barkas neighbourhood. As an injured Owaisi tried to take the steering wheel, the attackers opened fire on him.

His party colleague and legislator Balala rushed to Owaisi's rescue. Balala and the driver also sustained bullet injuries.

Owaisi's security guards returned fire injuring three assailants, witnesses said.

MIM sources told IANS that four to five persons belonging to the gang of a land grabber Mohammed Pehlwan attacked Owaisi.

Pehlwan had a dispute with Owaisi over some land, which the legislator had handed over to authorities for building houses for the poor, the sources said.

Akbaruddin Owaisi is the younger brother of MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad.

The younger Owaisi is the leader of MIM in the state assembly. The party has seven legislators in the 294-member house.