Prophet row: Hyderabad police challenge Raja Singh’s bail; Notices issued in old cases

Hyderabad: The city police on Thursday launched an all-out attack on suspended BJP MLA Raja Singh. On one hand, police approached Telangana High Court against the MLA’s bail orders delivered by the Nampally Magistrate court on August 23, and on the other, notices were issued in old cases against him.

Raja Singh has also been booked under sections like 153-A, 188, 295-A, 298, 505(1)(B)(C), 505(2), 506, 504, etc of the IPC in eight different cases. His statements on Prophet Muhammad were similar to what suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma also said earlier. According to sources, a team from the Shahinayathgunj police station issued him the notice.

Two days after he received bail, the Shahinayatgunj and Mangalhaat police on Thursday issued notices to suspended BJP MLA in hate-speech related cases booked against in earlier this year in April. He was given a notice under Section 41 of the CrPC (to be given prior to arrest). The MLA was given bail in a case booked against him earlier for making derogatory comments against Prophet Muhammad on August 22.

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Protests intensify against Raja Singh, 127 arrested and released

On Wednesday night, the Hyderabad police severely cracked down on hundreds of protestors who demanded action against Raja Singh. The protests took place mainly in the Shalibanda area, where at least a few hundred people gathered. As it swelled, the cops barged into into homes and arrested some that way. On Thursday morning, 127 people who were in custody were released by the police.

Two days ago, D S Chauhan, additional commissioner (law and order) from the Hyderabad police, told a group of protestors that due to some technical mistakes the lower court rejected the remand report of the Mangalhat police and released Raja Singh. “A team is working under C V Anand, Hyderabad Commissioner to take the next step.  I am assuring you all we will approach the higher court and take action,” he had told them.

Sequence of events

Raja Singh’s derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad were posted in a Youtube video on the night of August 22. It has been taken down since. Raja Singh posted it in retaliation to the Telangana government allowing comedia Munawar Faruqui perform in Hyderabad on August 20. He had threatened to disrupt the show, but was prevented from doing so by the police.

Raja Singh then took to Youtube, and posted his own video made derogatory statements on Prophet Muhammad , which he called a “comedy”. Protests erupted the same day around midnight and continued on August 23 following which the BJP MLA was arrested. The situation got worse in the night when scores of protestors remained on the roads. The remained tense on Wednesday as well.

What Raja Singh said

The suspended BJP MLA passed several derogatory comments against Muslims and Prophet Muhammad in a Youtube video. He was essentially unwilling to let go of the fact that standup comic Munawar Faruqui was allowed to hold a show in the city last week.

Protests began on the night of August 22 itself, with angry youth demanding his arrest outside city police commissioner CV Anand’s office. It continued on Tuesday and intensified after he was released on bail. BJP chief spokesperson for Telangana Krishna Saagar Rao told that his party respects all religions and faiths. “We are a national party and we don’t support the statements of Raja Singh or hate speech,” he stated clarifying that the BJP does not support Singh’s remarks on Prophet Muhammad.

At the end of the video, after making derogatory comments against Prophet Muhammad, Raja Singh said that whatever he uttered was “comedy”. The MLA said he also didn’t like what he said. The video was uploaded on Shree Ram Channel Telangana (now made private).