Telangana High Court orders suspended BJP MLA T Raja Singh’s release
The Goshamahal MLA was placed under prevention detention at a jail in Hyderabad after he made alleged provocative remarks about Prophet Muhammad.
The Telangana High Court on Wednesday ordered the release of suspended Bharatiya Janata Party MLA T Raja Singh from a jail in Hyderabad, PTI reported.
A bench comprising Abhishek Reddy and Justice Juvvadi Sridevi told the MLA not to make any provocative speech about any religion, post offensive content on social media or take part in celebratory rallies after release.
After his release, Singh said on Twitter: “Dharma [righteousness] has emerged victorious. I am once again at your service. Jai Shri Ram!”
On August 25, the police had arrested the Goshamahal MLA for having posted a video with alleged derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad. A local court, however, released him immediately, saying that the police did not follow the Supreme Court’s guidelines on arrests.
The police then took Singh into custody under the Preventive Detention Act. He was lodged at the Cherlapally Central Prison in Hyderabad for 76 days, according to The Indian Express.
Singh was later suspended from the BJP.
The Hyderabad Police said that the MLA was involved in 101 criminal cases, 18 of which were related to alleged communal offences. The police also claimed that he had been habitually delivering provocative speeches and “driving a wedge between communities”, which could lead to public disorder.
Singh’s lawyer L Ravichander said that the case against him revolved around the usage of the word “aaka”. He said that the Hindi word – which is generally used to mean “master” – does not mean a prophet.
“And the government could not have relied upon a fatwa that said ‘aaka’ can mean Prophet,” Ravichander said, according to The Indian Express. “Secondly, every law and order problem cannot be a public order problem. The Supreme Court has said the normal criminal law of the land is enough to deal with hate speech and therefore conduct a trial and put him in jail and not under preventive detention.”
On October 10, Singh had claimed that whenever he criticises Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen, an impression is created that he is criticising Muslims.
“Since the word ‘Muslim’ is part of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, they are alleging that I am criticising the entire Muslim community,” he claimed. “But I have never criticised the Muslim community. I have never made personal comments against them. I, on every occasion, have been exposing the AIMIM atrocities and its staunch supporter, the TRS [Telangana Rashtra Samithi].”