MIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi takes to ‘Gandhigiri’ to protest ban in Bangaluru

HYDERABAD(TNN): Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday resorted to “Gandhigiri” to protest denial of permission to address a public meeting in Bangaluru.

Owaisi insisted additional police commissioner Noorullah Shareef to accept flowers much to the amusement of onlookers as he came to his office to serve the notice barring his entry into Bangaluru from February 19-25.

The notice cited court cases against Owaisi and the content of his speeches to bar his entry in the run up to the Bengaluru civic polls for which the MIM plans to field its candidates.

The officer seemed baffled at the unusual gesture and repeatedly said he cannot accept the flowers as a government servant.

“I am offering you flowers. I am not garlanding you,” said Owaisi. When Shareef declined, Owaisi asked him to pass on the flowers to his superiors on whose orders the notice was being served.

A video of the exchange was posted on Owaisi’s Facebook page and had over 50,000 views by Thursday evening.

The Bangaluru police had first granted and then revoked permission for Owaisi’s public meeting on February 8.

The MIM moved the Karnataka high court against the permission withdrawal. The police informed the party that permission would be accorded if an application was filed with the DCP (east), which resulted in the notice on Thursday.

“The notice has pained me as an Indian, who can speak in the Parliament but not in Bengaluru. I have cases against me and I am innocent until proven guilty,” said Owaisi.

“I am sure that the courts will do justice to me. As a citizen of India, I accept your notice but reject its contentions.”