HYDERABAD – All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi recently caused outrage after he defended his decision to extend legal aid to the five Hyderabad-based youth arrested by National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly being part of an Islamic State terror module.

“If legal aid is fundamental right, then why should these people have trouble or why are they in so much pain?” asked the Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP.

Backing his party’s decision, Owaisi said that the suspects would have been offered legal help anyway, at the same time urging the media not to blow the issue out of proportion and hinder the legal process.

Owaisi assured everyone of his belief in the legal system, but at the same time also hinted that the NIA’s actions have not been entirely consistent.

“Look at the role of NIA in recent times. (Swami) Aseemanand was given bail in the 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.

Speaking later at a rally, Owaisi denounced the Islamic State, stating that ISIS has caused the most damage to Muslims, going on further to label its members as “dogs of hell”. He condemned the role of ISIS leader Abu-Bakr-Al Baghdadi for damaging the Islamic world. “For the pain you have caused to the Muslims around the world, your body will be cut into many pieces,” said Owaisi about the ISIS leader.

Ranjay Bose, Correspondent (Asia: South)