The Maharashtra Police on Thursday arrested a Muslim man in Nanded district accusing him of inciting the youth to oppose a rally of suspended Bharatiya Janata Party leader T Raja Singh, PTI reported.
Suleman Ahmed Shaikh, 50, has been sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a local court, the police said.
Raja Singh, a Telangana MLA, has multiple hate speech cases against him in Maharashtra, but the police are yet to arrest him. The BJP had suspended him in August following an uproar over his remarks about Prophet Muhammad.
He had also been arrested and placed under preventive detention for his comments on the Prophet. In November, the Telangana High Court ordered his release on the condition that he should not make provocative speeches. But, he has continued to make incendiary communal speeches in rallies organised by the Sakal Hindu Samaj, a collective of several Hindutva outfits in Maharashtra.
At one such rally, the legislator had called on Hindus to pick up arms if an anti-conversion law was not introduced in Maharashtra. On the Hindu festival of Ram Navami last week, which saw violence in multiple states, videos of Singh making a provocative speech in front of a Hyderabad mosque was shared widely on social media.
On Thursday, a Maharashtra Police official said that Shaikh had held a meeting in Biloli city of Nanded district on March 24, where he appealed to the Muslim community youth to oppose Singh’s rally, stating that it would lead to tension in the area, PTI reported.
The police registered a case against Shaikh after a video of the meeting went viral on social media. He has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
Efforts are underway to arrest an accomplice of Shaikh, the police official added.