Hyderabad: How many laws has MLA Raja Singh broken? Let us count

Hyderabad: T Raja Singh is, morally speaking, a highly limited man.

With accusations of offenses ranging from hate-speech to rioting to criminal intimidation, the Goshamahal MLA’s track record shows that as an individual and a leader, he stands in opposition to public and Constitutional morality.

He is a man driven by a narrow definition of India, fuelled by violence, and with a warped sense of what constitutes “dharma” (duty). His distaste for Muslims and Dalits is only equalled by his disregard for decency and any sense of brotherhood: Indian or otherwise.

These are simple facts about Raja Singh. Facts which haven’t been penned in these precise words, but which are nonetheless worthy of utterance.

Raja Singh has been arrested under the Preventive Detention (PD) Act following his “controversial remarks” on Prophet Muhammad.

Also Read

Not afraid of bullets, jail: Raja Singh just before his arrest

The current article takes a second look at Singh’s rap sheet as an exercise in better understanding his political thought process. For this purpose, Siasat.com has accessed the various cases booked against Singh from the 2010s up till 2019.

For the purpose of this article, we have focused primarily on cases booked against Raja Singh in Afzalgunj, Mangalhat, and Shahiniyathgunj. These are areas where Singh had the most number of cases registered against him in the given timeline.

It is worthy of address that this list is in no way exhaustive and while it bears sufficient proof of Singh’s disdain for law, order and any shrivel of decency, it in no way covers the entirety of his atrocities.

Afzalgunj police station limits

In 2010, Singh along with fifty to sixty of his followers, set ablaze a mosque in Gandhigalli while chanting slogans of “Jai Shree Ram.” Further, they set ablaze a police vehicle (a Tata Sumo). In this regard, three cases were registered against Singh at the Afzalgunj police station.

The now ex-BJP MLA, in this case alone, has been booked under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with a deadly weapon), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 454 (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking in order to commit an offense punishable with imprisonment), 506 (criminal intimidation), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house etc), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult religion of any class), 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and 149 (offense against public tranquility) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

In another case under Afzalgunj police station limits, a complaint was lodged by youth leader of Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) Amjadullah Khan against hate speeches made by Singh against the Muslim community during the Shree Ram Navami procession in 2010. The rally also witnessed the presence of Dharmendra Acharya, a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader.

Singh was charged under Sections 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 109 (abetment), 149 (offense against public tranquility) of the IPC in this case.

On August 15, 2018, Singh carried out a Tiranga (tri-colour) rally without police permission and was booked under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) of the IPC as well a 21/76 of the city police act.

The rally also witnessed the presence of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader Laddu Yadav well known for rioting and communalising parts of the Old City against Muslims.

Aside from the above, Singh was also charged in 2018 for attempting to stop a vehicle transporting cows without informing the police, thus causing disturbance to free flow of traffic.

Except for the case in which Singh carried out the Tiranga rally, he has been acquitted in all other cases under Afzalgunj police station limits.

Mangalhat police station limits

Under the limits of Mangalhat police station, Singh was booked under different cases in the years 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018.

In 2014, Singh was charged with illegal construction of a Ganesh temple wall. In 2015, he was booked for carrying out Sri Ram Navami Shobha Yatra, without police permission. He further threatened officials with “grave consequences” if they attempted to stop him.

Singh was booked under Sections 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 505 (2) (statements conducing to public mischief), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

In 2016, he was booked yet again for carrying out Sri Ram Navami procession without permission. Further, in the same year, he was booked once again under Section 153 (a) for condoning the Una caste killings in Gujarat where seven members of a Dalit family were assaulted under the guise of cow protection. The complaint was filed by the current president of the Mala Welfare Association, Bathula Ram Prasad.

In 2018, Singh was booked by the Mangalhat police once again for carrying out a Ram Navami procession without permission, for delivering a hate speech against Muslims, and for illegally constructing a wall around a Hanuman temple in Dhoolpet.

Shahiniyatgunj police station limits

In Shahiniyathgunj, Singh was booked in 2010 under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with a deadly weapon), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the IPC as well as Section 3 (committing mischief by doing any act in respect of any public property) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act) during Hanuman Jayanti.

Singh and his followers pelted stones and damaged public property including damage to Begum Bazaar chatri police sub control room, a police jeep, and a paan shop. Further, they trespassed and damaged a local grocery store, Hasham and Son.

In 2012, Singh organised a meeting at Sanatan Dharmashala, calling for formation of “action teams” for implementation of prohibition of cow slaughter. In the speech, Singh is alleged to have provoked Hindu men to perpetuate violence.

In 2017, Singh gave a speech calling for the establishment of a Ram temple at the disputed Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. He was charged with Section 295 (a) (deliberate and malicious intent to outrage religious feelings of any class) of the IPC.

In 2018, Singh was booked once again for carrying out a Ram Navami procession and further, using drone cameras in his rally. In the same year, he also carried out a Tiranga rally to “mark” India’s independence thus disrupting traffic and causing inconvenience to the public.

All in all, Singh has 43 cases against him up till 2019 in various police stations; Afzalgunj (7), Abids (1), Begum Bazaar (2), Bolarum (1), Charminar (1), Dabirpura (3), Falaknuma (1), Habibnagar (1), Hussainiala (1), Kolkatta (1), Mangalhat (9), Rajpet (1), Rein Bazaar (1), Shahiniyathgunj (9), Yadgiri (1), Saifabad (1) and Sultan Bazaar (2).

Police response to Singh’s offenses

An official from the city police, on the condition of anonymity, remarked that as per protocol they issued a notice under Section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

As per Section 41, “the police officer shall, in all cases where the arrest of a person is not required under the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 41, issue a notice directing the person against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received.”

As per the judgement delivered in Arnesh Kumar vs the State of Bihar, the Supreme Court stated that arrests should be an exception, in cases where the punishment is less than seven years of imprisonment. In other words, as Singh’s crimes all tantamount to punishment less than seven years in jail, arrest was an exception.

“We filed the charges for all the offenses and served the notice under Section 41. The court however did not remand him to judicial custody,” added the official.

While he has been acquitted for a few, most of the offenses are supposedly still under investigation. When contacted by Siasat.com on April 18, 2022, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP, West Zone, Joel Davis remarked that they were abiding by the Lalitha Kumari guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and as such were following due process.

The Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari vs Government of UP held that registration of First Information Report (FIR) is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.

Various counts of each offense committed by Raja Singh

Siasat.com has broken down the number of times Singh has been charged under various sections of the IPC and other relevant laws.

Sections What it stands for Number of times accused
147 of IPC Rioting 10
148 of IPC Rioting, armed with a deadly weapon 7
427 of IPC Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees 8
454 of IPC House-trespass or house-breaking 5
153 (A) of IPC Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony 17
120 (B) of IPC Criminal Conspiracy 4
149 of IPC Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object 9
143 of IPC Whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both. 7
188 of IPC Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant 12
341 of IPC Punishment for wrongful restraint 6
34 of IPC Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention 5
21/76 of city police act Obstruction of traffic 8
353 of IPC Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty 6
295 (A) of IPC Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs 9
Selective list of charges booked against MLA Raja Singh up till 2019.

As of the moment, there exists ambiguity on how many cases Singh has been acquitted in. What remains unambiguous is how time and again, Singh has violated his oath to the Indian Constitution and his duty to the subjects in his constituency.