Hyderabad: MIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday said his party would provide legal aid to five youth arrested by the NIA but made it clear that it doesn`t support terrorism.
He said family members of the youth met him and claimed that they are innocent. The Hyderabad MP said he directed a lawyer to provide the legal help.
"If the youth are innocent, we will fight. We will not keep quiet," Owaisi said while addressing a gathering at the historic Makkah Masjid on the occasion of 'Jumatul Vida' or the last Friday of Ramadan.
The MP asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) if it would give in writing that that in case the youth are acquitted after 3 -4 years, it will suspend the officers who arrested them.
The NIA has busted an alleged module of Islamic State (IS) with the arrest of five youth from the old city of Hyderabad on Wednesday. The agency said the youth were planning bomb attacks in crowded places including religious sites.
Owaisi claimed that he was the first Muslim leader in India to come out openly against IS. He reiterated that IS has nothing to do with Islam. "We never supported terrorism and we will never do it," he said.
Referring to those who left India for Syria to join IS, the MP described them as cowards. He said Indian Muslims will never leave their country, come what may. "We will remain here and continue our democratic fight for rights. We will die here but will not leave," he said.
He found fault with media for carrying a report that the arrested youth were planning to throw meat in a temple. He said NIA, in its remand report submitted to the court, made no mention of this. He recalled that meat was thrown in two temples in Hyderabad in 2010 and it led to communal riots. Police subsequently found that the meat was thrown by members of Sangh Parivar.
Owaisi condemned what he called the attempts by a section of media to malign the old city of Hyderabad."Our fight is not against Hindus or temples. Our fight is for justice and rights and we want take other countrymen along," he said.
The MP said nobody should have any suspicion on their loyalty to the country. "Allah is the creator of the universe and I worship Him alone. I don`t worship the country but I am ready to sacrifice my life to protect my country," he said.
He reiterated that nobody can force him to raise a particular slogan to live in the country.
Owaisi targeted Modi government and NIA for going soft on the accused in Makkah Masjid, Ajmer and Malegaon blasts. He said Assemanand, an accused in Makkah Masjid and Ajmer blasts was released on bail as the NIA failed to file chargesheet against him in 90 days.
The MP said the NIA dropped charges against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur in 2008 Malegaon blast, though her vehicle was used in the attack. "When a woman can be punished because her car was used in Mumbai blasts, why can`t another woman facing similar charges be jailed," he asked.