Ground Report: How old city turned into hub of protests post BJP MLA Raja Singh's release

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  24 Aug 2022 3:10 PM GMT
Ground Report: How old city turned into hub of protests post BJP MLA Raja Singhs release

Hyderabad: Hours after BJP Goshamahal MLA Thakur Raja Singh, was granted bail by the 14th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court in Nampally, in regard to his derogatory remarks against prophet Mohammad case, protests rocked the old city area of Hyderabad on 23rd August. Overnight, Charminar turned into a hub for protestors.

Youth, elderly and even children, gathered at Mughalpura, Patharghetti, Charminar, Madina, Shalibanda, and the High Court area to express their 'wrath' against MLA Raja Singh's release. To recall, Hyderabad police arrested Singh for passing derogatory remarks against the prophet in a Youtube video and his suspension from the BJP followed. The saffron party asked its MLA to express or issue a show cause within 10 days on why he should not be expelled from the party. Later, he was produced before the Nampally court and was granted bail, which resulted in a volcano of protests.

Over 31 protestors were arrested on Wednesday. Cases under multiple sections were registered at Husaini Alam police station . These 31 were lodged at Kanchanbagh Police station- Station House Officer-Kanchanbagh, told NewsMeter.

But, what caught the attention of many observers was, slogans like 'Raja Singh ko Pasi do', 'Mar Dalo' (kill him) echoed at the protest site. Some of the protesters even tried marching towards Goshamahal, which happens to be Singh's assembly constituency but were curbed by the police, in time. While some were beaten up by the MLA's supporters.

It is pertinent to note that, a blanket of security was deployed in the old city area on Tuesday night. Law and Order police, South zone Task Force and even the Rapid Action Force were deployed following an intelligence tip-off of possible protests.

When NewsMeter Correspondent visited Charminar on Wednesday, posters with derogatory comments on Raja Singh's face were spotted in parts of Charminar. The posters were lying on the road with people casually passing by. However, the seemingly unnoticed posters were being spat on by a young man- Siddiqui who was working at a jewelry shop there.

"This man has hurt multiple people. He should not have mocked our religion. I hope the police take the issue seriously and arrest him again," Siddiqui said. The poster had a picture of Raja Singh in an orange attire and three black footprints printed on it. There were reportedly printed by a few protestors before Raja Singh got arrested. Multiple shops near Charminar and other parts of the old city continued to remain shut. While there have been no ongoing protests since noon, multiple police vans and buses filled with Rapid Action Force officers are outside Charminar.A vendor selling popcorn- Ashraf Ali said the shops might open tomorrow. "The protests can resume at any time. But they might not happen now as they would disrupt business hours for vendors like us," he says.

The Hyderabad police, on Wednesday evening issued 'off the record' directions to all commercial establishments especially those located in the old city area, to shut shop between 7 PM to 8 PM, every day, indefinitely. This is being done, in order to bring the situation under control, a senior police officer told NewsMeter.

At Goshamahal:

Raja Singh was accompanied by 2 bus loads of police officers to his residence in Goshamahal on Tuesday night. Here, he was received with a rousing welcome. On Wednesday, when NewsMeter correspondent visited his residence, only a few officers remained guarded outside. Only 15-20 officers have been deployed outside Raja Singh's house in Mangalhat.

A BJP spokesperson- Laxman said that Hindus living in the old city should be careful. "The protests might get worse in that part of the city," he said. Interestingly, none of the top brass of the saffron party spoke a word in support of MLA Raja Singh following his suspension from the party. Telangana BJP wing's poster boy has been left isolated.

BJP Telangana spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao said, "BJP is a national party that believes in integral humanism. We respect all communities, religions, and faiths. We don't subscribe to, and in fact are against, any public discourse involving abuse and hate between communities. So, it is completely out of the party's framework that MLA Raja Singh has spoken or made that video. We completely disassociate ourselves from that video and the statements he made. It has nothing to do with the BJP."

He further said the party has responded very quickly to the issue. "The party has taken a very quick decision in suspending him and issuing a show cause notice asking him why he should not be expelled. Other parties should reciprocate. I am challenging the MIM party to do the same by suspending Asaduddin Owaisi and Akbaruddin Owaisi for making many such statements in the past," added Mr. Rao.

AIMIM's demand:

The All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party has written to the Telangana Legislative speaker, seeking the expulsion of BJP Goshamahal MLA T Raja Singh from the house. The letter represented by AIMIM General Secretary Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri- MLA, stated, " Raja Singh's statement on Monday (24th August 2022) against the Prophet. Mohammed (PBUH) and Islam have caused immense hurt to the sentiments of Muslims across India. It is a blatant violation of his oath as a member of the legislative assembly. The oath binds a member to bear "true faith and allegiance to the Constitution".

"We expect the State Government and Police Admin to rectify this. There are serious allegations against him & he had issued a video. He should be sent to jail once again. This is our main demand," AIMIM chief Asaudddin Owaisi said.

Home Minister and South Zone Deputy Commissioner's appeal to the public

The government is following an uncompromising take regarding the peace and security in Telangana said the Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mehmood. "None disturbing peace of the state will be spare. There is no mercy for those who hurt others religious sentiments and hence create civil unrest. BJP MLA Raja Singh has made derogatory statements regarding Prophet Mohammed and as a result many cases have been filed against him in multiple stations. Concerned agencies will take strict actions against him and this does not bear any discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, creed and other categories" he said.

DCP-South Zone, P Sai Chaitanya says that the alleged blasphemy is well-planned to provoke communal tensions in the city. He further appealed to the public not to become pawns in someone else's drama. He said that there is no permission for any protest in the city and hence requested people to not participate in an unpermitted protest anywhere.

BJP minority wing condemned Raja Singh's remarks

Haneef Ali, Senior BJP leader appreciated the central leadership for considering people's opinions and suspending Raja Singh. He said that the party proved that they do not entertain anybody who speaks against any religion. Further, he said Preventive Detention should be imposed upon Raja Singh. Raja Singh could have spoken against Munawar Farooqui but not against the Prophet. It is wrong to speak against Lord Sita, Rama, or any other gods of Hindustan, he said.

Hyderabad Muslim Women Speak up

Several Muslim Women from Hyderabad held a protest at the Ambedkar Statue, Hussain Sagar (Tank Bund) derogatory comments passed against muslims.

"This is not the first time that this BJP leader has vomited venom against Prophet and Muslims. Though he has been arrested and released due to nonobservance of 41 a CrPC, the Telangana police should not work negligently giving scope to culprits trying to disturb law and order in the city," said Khalida Parveen, a women's rights activist. The protestors demanded the state government take strict action against such hatred-spreading leaders of the BJP.

Protest rally on 26th August in Old City

The joint action committee of 'Tehreek Muslim Shaban' has announced to carry out a protest rally on Friday from 2 pm to 5 pm. President of the organization Mr Mushtaq Malik told NewsMeter, "The protest rally will start from Mecca Masjid to Darulshifa playground. This is against MLA Raja Singh and former BJP 's spokesperson Nupur Sharma;s comments. The duo uttered filth against prophet Mohammed. We have also filed a petition with the Election Commission demanding disqualification of MLA Raja Singh." In the joint action committee meeting held on Wednesday, members demanded that the election commission to disqualify Singh.

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