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Controversy

Telangana BJP MLA Raja Singh arrested for alleged hate speech: All you need to know

Print edition : Aug 25, 2022 T+T-

Telangana BJP MLA Raja Singh arrested for alleged hate speech: All you need to know

Telangana BJP MLA T. Raja Singh being taken away after he was arrested for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad, in Hyderabad on August 23.

Telangana BJP MLA T. Raja Singh being taken away after he was arrested for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad, in Hyderabad on August 23. | Photo Credit: PTI

The BJP has sought a reply from Singh within 10 days as to why he should not be expelled.

Controversial BJP leader Raja Singh was arrested by the city police on August 23 following his alleged remarks against Islam and Prophet Muhammad in a video which was later pulled down by the social media platform on which it was uploaded. Following an uproar against his remarks, BJP suspended Singh from the party. Singh was granted bail by a local court later Tuesday.

On August 22, the BJP MLA released a video criticising stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui, who recently performed in the city. Singh is also purportedly seen making some comments, apparently against Islam, in it.

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Also read: The Union government’s assault on free speech

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) claimed Singh used derogatory language against Prophet Muhammad. “This is the official policy of the BJP to ensure that Muslims are always tortured emotionally, mentally by allowing their party members to talk in such low language which we call it s adak chap language about Prophet Mohammed. This is a deliberate attempt by BJP and they allowed their MLA to speak in this language,” AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi told reporters.

“They have not learnt a lesson from what Nupur Sharma has said. This is a continuation of what Nupur Sharma had said,” he further said, referring to the suspended party spokesperson whose remarks against Prophet Muhammad sparked a huge outrage.

A complaint filed by one Mohammed Wajhi Uddin Salman with Dabeerpura Police alleged Raja Singh used vulgar language against Prophet Muhammad. Several people belonging to the community staged protests in various parts of the city on the night of August 22 demanding Singh’s arrest.

Many AIMIM legislators and corporators of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation reached the police stations, where protests were held and sought stringent action against Raja Singh, party sources said.

Multiple complaints filed against MLA Raja Singh

According to police, complaints were filed against Singh in several police stations under South, East and West Zones. Dabeerpur Police Inspector G Koteswar Rao said they received a complaint against Singh, which alleged that the BJP MLA made derogatory remarks against Islam. An FIR was booked against Singh under various sections of IPC pertaining to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs and criminal intimidation among others, he said.

Also read: Right wing vigilante groups target stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui

During the arrest, the Goshamahal MLA told reporters his video was pulled down by the social media platform on which it was uploaded and that he will upload “part 2” of the clip after his release. “They removed my video from YouTube. I don’t know what the police are going to do. Once I am released, the second part (of the video) will certainly be uploaded. I am doing it for Dharma. I am ready to die for dharma,” he said.

Singh sought to know why several complaints were lodged against him in various police stations. “Why are there complaints? Our Ram is not Ram? Our Sita is Sita? I requested the DGP with folded hands not to allow the person (Munawar Faruqui) who made comedy with vulgar language against Ram and Sita,” he said.

BJP suspends Raja Singh over remarks against Prophet Muhammad

Meanwhile, Singh was suspended from the BJP following his controversial remarks allegedly aimed at Prophet Muhammad and the party sought his reply within 10 days as to why he should not be expelled.

In a notice issued to Singh, Om Pathak, who is secretary of the party’s central disciplinary committee, said, “You have expressed views contrary to the Party’s position on various matters, which is in clear violation of Rule XXV 10 (a) of constitution of the Bharatiya Janata Party. I have been directed to convey to you that pending further inquiry, you are suspended from the party and from your responsibilities/assignments if any, with immediate effect.” Pathak also asked Singh to “show cause” within 10 days from the date of this notice as to why he should not be expelled from the party. “Your detailed reply must reach the undersigned no later than 2nd of September 2022,” Pathak said.

Singh is known for his past controversial comments. Earlier this year, he had said that those “traitors” who did not vote in support of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh will have repercussions post elections.

Faruqui’s August 21 show at Hyderabad’s Shilpakala Vedika went off peacefully, thanks in no small measure to the massive police presence inside and outside the venue.

A TRS functionary said: "The government has shown the courage and political will to take on and defeat the Hindutva fringe groups. The staging of the Munawar Faruqui show was a victory against bigotry.” A Minister added: “Here in Telangana, we want harmony among all groups."

(with inputs from PTI and Ravi Sharma)