BJP MLA in Telangana sentenced to one year in jail for assault of policeman, gets time to appeal

Published : January 30, 2021 11:46 IST

T. Raja Singh, BJP MLA from Goshamahal. Photo: RAMAKRISHNA G.

A Special Sessions Court at Nampally, Hyderabad, sentenced T. Raja Singh, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator and the party’s floor leader in the Telangana Assembly, to one year imprisonment for threatening and assaulting police personnel in December 2015. The incident happened during a ‘Beef Festival’ organised by some student groups on the Osmania University campus, against which Raja Singh protested. The Special Sessions Judge for trial of cases against Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies also imposed a fine of Rs.5,000 on the legislator.

After the court convicted Raja Singh and pronounced the sentence, the police took the legislator into custody. However, the court later granted the 42-year-old Raja Singh, who represents Goshamahal constituency in Hyderabad, bail, suspended his sentence, and gave him until March 1 to appeal against the sentence.

On December 12, 2015, on receiving information that the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Osmania University had organised a ‘Beef Festival’ on the university’s campus, Raja Singh, along with his ‘karyakartas’, threatened to visit Osmania University to stop the beef festival. But before he could proceed with his plans, police personnel from Hyderabad’s Mangalhat police station took the controversial legislator into preventive custody. He was then shifted to the Bollaram police station.

It was at the Bollaram police station that the MLA allegedly assaulted and threatened the Sub-Inspector of Police when he was prevented from meeting his supporters who had come there. A case under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code were registered against Raja Singh. The police filed a charge sheet against Raja Singh before the special court in 2019.

After the conviction, Raja Singh issued a statement in which he stated that in his bid to save “gau mata” (the cow) he was even “prepared for the death sentence”. A former member of the Telugu Desam Party, Raja Singh later joined the BJP, and was appointed party whip for Telangana. He has been in the news for whipping up support for the protection of cows. As recently as January 8, he and his supporters were taken into preventive custody by the LB Nagar Police for protesting on an arterial road in Hyderabad and causing traffic disruptions. The legislator has been demanding that the police step up measures to protect cows from being slaughtered and has sought action against their transportation.

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