Prophet row: How the Hyderabad police planned Raja Singh’s arrest

Hyderabad: After the Hyderabad police’s attempt to send MLA Raja Singh to jail on Tuesday failed, a team of higher officials studied all possibilities of taking action against Singh.

So far, 101 cases are booked against Singh of which 18 are communal cases. After detailed studies, the police explored the option of invoking the PD Act which did not mandate him to be produced in court.

“A committee comprising legal officers hears upon the arguments of the PD Act proposal and invokes it on any persons seen as a threat to law and order of any State,” said a police official on the condition of anonymity.

The police after the first statement of Raja Singh against the Munawar Faruqui show began to closely monitor him. As his rhetoric took an ugly turn, the police began to collect all details about his previous cases and activities.

On August 22, after the video was released wherein he allegedly made derogatory comments against Prophet Muhammad, the police decided it was enough. Keen on maintaining Hyderabad as ‘communal riot free state’, they booked cases in different police stations. The next morning, Raja Singh was arrested.

However, the court released him on conditional bail on Tuesday itself.

Taking offense at it, people of the Muslim community took to streets leading to tension for two days and nights. Demonstrations, stone pelting, effigy burning, and motorcycle rallies were held.

As things were going out of hand, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao held a high-level meeting and asked police to initiate tough action. High officials of the police at an internal meeting explored all options and considered invoking PD Act as a super available alternative.

“Strategy was to keep the MLA and his associates confused. Three 41A CrPC notices were issued to the MLA on Thursday at his office and explanations were sought about three criminal cases of hate speech at Mangalhath and Shahinayathgunj police stations. The MLA and his followers assume the police will arrest in some cases and he can obtain bail easily. The police made an appeal in the high court as well against the MLA’s bail in the Mangalhath case booked for alleged derogatory comments against Prophet Mohammed. The MLA did not have a clue about the PD Act proposal readied. Around 3 pm, a contingent of 100 policemen reached his house and took him into custody. The orders were served on him and the MLA shifted to Central Prison at Cherlapally,” the cop further revealed.

The next move of the legal team of the MLA would likely have been approaching the high court to get the PD Act quashed and get him out of jail.

101 cases have been booked since 2004 against Singh of which 18 cases are for hate speech and communal riots. For the invocation of the PD Act, three grave cases in six month period suffice.

Intelligence agencies warned of massive protests and disturbances on Friday after the MLA posted a video making derogatory statements against Prophet Mohammed, the Muslim community, and Munawar Farooqui in a video.

He uploaded the video on Sree Ram Channel on Youtube. He termed it as ‘tit for tat’ for standup comedian Munawar Faruqui show held on Saturday at Shilpa Kalavedika Madhapur.