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Asaduddin Owaisi, BJP leaders lock horns over legal support to terror suspects
Monday July 4, 2016 0:00 AM, Agencies

Asad Owaisi

New Delhi/Hyderabad:
The BJP on Sunday dubbed All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Chief Asaduddin Owaisi's offer of providing legal aid to five IS suspects arrested in Hyderabad as "betrayal" of the country and said the proposed move will give "oxygen" to terrorists.

However, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and Hyderabad MP hit back and wondered if the discharge of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur in the Malegaon blast case and not appealing against bail to Aseemanand in the Mecca mosque bomb blast case will not have the same result.

Commenting on Owaisi's offer, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Hyderabad MP is "directly or indirectly helping the IS".

BJP leader Srikant Sharma told IANS: "Helping people involved in acts of terrorism is a betrayal of the country. On the one hand, you condemn the IS and, on the other, you support those involved in such acts."

He said the agencies concerned should decide on what all charges the AIMIM leader could be booked for after his offer of legal help to the IS suspects, arrested from Hyderabad.

The BJP leader also said that Asaduddin Owaisi's criticism of IS is a "drama" as he does not believe in what he says.

Owaisi took to Twitter to hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"What about discharging Sadhvi, not appealing against bail to Aseemanand ..., hanging J/khnd..," tweeted Owaisi in response to BJP's comments.

Owaisi was not available for comments.

Sources in the AIMIM, however, said their leader has already defended the decision to provide legal aid to the five youth.

"What is wrong in it? Even if I don't provide legal aid, the court will appoint a lawyer for them," the MP said on Saturday.

Owaisi pointed out that even Ajmal Kasab, who was hanged in the Mumbai terror attack case, was provided a lawyer.

The AIMIM leader said the families of the arrested youths told him that they are innocent. "Let the court decide if they are guilty or not," he remarked.

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