Hours after his arrest on Tuesday, the BJP suspended Telangana MLA, T Raja Singh, over his alleged derogatory comments against Islam and the Prophet Mohammed in a video, but not before it triggered protests in Hyderabad amid a business shutdown. The video clip was later pulled down by the social media platform on which it was uploaded. The BJP has asked the MLA, who has been released on bail, to respond to a show-cause notice for his statements within 10 days.
But this is not the first time the politician was mired in controversy. Singh, who started his career with the Telugu Desam Party in 2009, is known for his “inflammatory” comments. The two-time MLA from Goshamal is currently the BJP floor leader in the Assembly. He had joined the party in the run-up to the 2014 general elections. Going by his 2018 election affidavit, Raja Singh declared to have 43 police cases against him on varying offences, including delivering “hate speech”, rioting, defiling a place of worship and attempt to murder. Since then,he has been acquitted in most cases. Here’s a look at his previous run-ins with the law —
Controversial Remarks On Ajmer Dargah
Taking objection to the recent spurt in the number of Hindus visiting the Ajmer Shah Dargah in Rajasthan, Raja Singh, in June 2022, stated that this would not be the case of Hindus knew the truth about the dargah. The BJP leader, who was later booked by the Kanchanbagh police of Hyderabad, claimed that “Prithviraj Chouhan’s wife was thrown out of this dargah to be raped by the soldiers.”
Provocative Song & Dance At Ramnavami Celebration
In April 2022, the MLA was booked for creating nuisance and disturbing public peace and tranquillity at a Ram Navami shobha yatra. According to a Newsminute report, “While the Rama Navami celebrations in Hyderabad may have concluded peacefully without any communal clashes and unrest, the celebrations did witness provocative statements and a song sung by T Raja Singh, a controversial BJP legislator from Goshamahal. Slogans called for the establishment of Hindu supremacy and lyrics of songs played during events had provocative lines that warned people against locking horns with those from the Hindu community.”
Banned By Facebook And Instagram For Promoting Violence
In September 2020, Facebook banned T Raja Singh from its platform and Instagram for violating its policy on content promoting violence and hate. The BJP leader, however, claimed he had no account with the networking site. “We have banned Raja Singh from Facebook for violating our policy prohibiting those that promote or engage in violence and hate from having a presence on our platform,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement. The ban came just a month after Wall Street Journal reported that T Raja Singh, in Facebook posts and public appearances, said that Rohingya Muslim immigrants should be shot, called Muslims as traitors and threatened to raze mosques. “By March of this year, they [Facebook] concluded Singh not only had violated the company’s hate-speech rules but qualified as dangerous, a designation that takes into account a person’s off-platform activities, according to current and former Facebook employees,” the publication added.
Call To Pick Up Weapons
In 2017, BJP MLA T Raja Singh had a case registered against him by the Hyderabad police for an inflammatory speech. The Golconda police station registered a case against the Goshamahal legislator, stating that he made “derogatory and hate” speeches against Muslims and promoted enmity between Hindus and Muslims. Singh had made the speech at the Virat Hindu Samavesh convention in Yadagiri, where he brandished a sword, and asked all Hindus in the country to pick up their weapons.
Lynching Threats Over Beef Food Festival
In December 2015, Singh threatened a Dadri-like incident in response to a planned beef festival at Osmania University, Hyderabad. Warning the organisers, Singh said that he was ‘ready to kill or be killed’. “We have the right to stop cow killers. This festival is a political ploy by some anti-Hindutva elements,” he said. Speaking against the then Parliament debate on ‘growing intolerance’ in the country, Singh had said, “First of all I am a Hindu. It is our duty to protect cows. Those who do not understand the spoken word must be taught a lesson by other means”.
Times of India report, August 24, 2022
Quint report, August 23, 2022
Firstpost report, August 23, 2022
News18 report, August 23, 2022
Times of India report, June 8, 2022
The Newsminute report, April 11, 2022
The Indian Express report, September 3, 2020
The Times Of India report, September 4, 2020
The Wall Street Journal report, August 14, 2020
The Newsminute report, December 25, 2017
DNA report, December 2, 2015
The Siasat Daily report, December 2, 2015