A day after suspended Telangana Bharatiya Janata Party MLA T Raja Singh was granted bail in connection with the alleged derogatory remarks he made against Prophet Mohammed, the old city of Hyderabad remained tense on Wednesday.The Muslim groups continued to hold protests in the area demanding action against him.
Singh, who has also been stripped of his floor leader post in the Telangana state assembly, said he had not made any controversial comments against any religion nor had he named any person.
“I did not take anybody’s name or talked about any religion in the video. It was wrongly understood,” the BJP lawmaker from Goshamahal constituency in Hyderabad said, refusing to elaborate further.
Singh, who was released on bail by a local court on Tuesday night hours after his arrest by the city police, said he would give an explanation to the show-cause notice issued by the party while suspending him, in a couple of days.
“I am sure the party will understand and appreciate my explanation. I think the party will not afford to lose me. If it is not convinced, there is nothing that I can do,” the MLA said.
The Nampally court in Hyderabad on Tuesday granted him bail and ordered his release, on the ground that the police had not followed the proper procedure — of issuing notice under Section 41 (a) of Criminal Procedure Code and asking him to appear in the police station for questioning before arresting him.
“This (Wednesday) morning, I received a notice from one police station, asking me to appear before them for questioning within 24 hours. Similar cases were filed against me in different police stations in the city. Let us see what will happen,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, tension prevailed at Shah-Ali-Banda area, where a large number of Muslims gathered at around midnight on Tuesday and staged protest till early hours of Wednesday, raising slogans against Singh. They burnt the effigies of the BJP MLA and pelted stones at the police who tried to disperse them. A couple of police personnel were also injured in the stone-pelting. The police took around 30 agitators into custody and shifted them to the Kanchanbagh police station.
Some protesters wielding sticks tried to march towards Raja Singh’s residence at Mangalhat near Goshamahal, but the police put up barricades on the bridge over Musi river, preventing the agitated mob from crossing it. At Moghalpura, a mob damaged a police vehicle.
Several shops and commercial establishments were forced to down their shutters in the old city areas of Shah-Ali-Banda, Saidabad, Moghalpura, Goshamahal, Mangalhat and Charminar. All fuel stations were shut down as a precautionary measure. Similarly, educational institutions also declared a holiday on Wednesday fearing violence.
A senior police official in the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Zone) said heavy police forces were deployed in all the sensitive areas. “The situation is peaceful and under control now,” the official said, in the condition of anonymity.
There were reports of some youth pasting posters of Raja Singh at Amberpet area threatening to behead him , said police. The posters were later removed.
Singh said he had received more than 4,000 calls and messages from unidentified people threatening to kill him, since Monday morning. “I have chosen to ignore them, as I have gotten used to such threats for several years. Nobody can dare enter my area, let alone touch me,” the suspended BJP MLA said.
Senior advocate Karunasagar, who represented Raja Singh in the court, said he has also been receiving threatening calls from unidentified phone numbers.
“Some of the calls were even from abroad. But I am not scared. I will extend cooperation to all those who stand by Hindu dharma,” the advocate said, adding that he will lodge a complaint with the police in connection with the death threats he has received.
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