The Hyderabad Police put in place tight security arrangements in the city on Friday in view of the possibility of protests against suspended Bharatiya Janata Party leader T Raja Singh’s alleged disparaging comments about Prophet Muhammad, IANS reported.

Singh was detained on Thursday after the police accused him of repeatedly making provocative and inflammatory speeches.

On Friday morning, a large number of security personnel were deployed near the Charminar and Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad. Hundreds of police officers and members of the Rapid Action Force have also been deployed in parts of the old city.

The police advised shops to close down by 8 pm for two days as a precautionary measure, NDTV reported.

All India Majlis-e-Ittahadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday urged the citizens of Hyderabad to ensure that Friday prayers are carried out peacefully. He noted that taking Singh into custody had been an important demand of his party.

Owaisi also urged Muslims not to shout any slogans after Friday prayers that could disturb peace. Any violence would have an adverse impact on poor citizens from all religions, Owaisi said in a video message.

Meanwhile, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao accused the BJP of engaging in divisive politics to create unrest, according to NDTV. He urged citizens to choose between Pantala Telangana –green Telangana and Mantala Telangana – Telangana on fire.

T Raja Singh’s detention

On Thursday, the police had said that Singh had been “habitually delivering provocative and inflammatory speeches and driving a wedge between communities leading to public disorder”.

A press release by the police said that the suspended BJP leader made blasphemous comments about the Prophet Mohammed and his lifestyle.

On Monday, Singh, the legislator from the Goshamahal constituency, uploaded a video on YouTube, in which he repeated suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s disparaging remarks about the Prophet.

Sharma’s comments had led to a spate of violence and unrest in several parts of the country in June. It had also caused a major diplomatic row, with several Arab countries taking objection to them. The BJP was forced to suspend her.

On Thursday, the police also arrested an activist named Syed Abdahu Kashaf for allegedly inciting violence and promoting enmity between religious groups. A case has been filed against him under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups), 505(2), which deals with statements creating enmity between classes) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace).