Hyderabad: A city court on Tuesday granted bail to BJP MLA Raja Singh who was arrested earlier in the day for making derogatory and blasphemous remarks against Islam and Muslims.
Raja Singh, who was arrested on Tuesday morning, was ordered to be released on bail barely a couple of hours after he was remanded to judicial custody.
The 14th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate directed the BJP leader to co-operate with the police in the investigation into the case.
Raja Singh was produced at the Nampally Criminal Court amid tight security and high tension due to protests by his supporters and those opposed to him.
Police resorted to baton charge to disperse the two groups who were raising slogans against each other.
After the court sent the BJP MLA to judicial custody, his counsel moved a bail petition. He argued that the police did not comply with the conditions under Section 41 of Criminal Procedure Code.
After hearing the arguments from both sides, the court rejected the remand order and granted bail to Raja Singh. He was released on a personal bond of Rs 20,000.
Raja Singh's counsel told reporters outside the court that the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections under which Raja Singh was arrested provide for punishment of less than seven years. He argued before the court that the police ignored the guidelines passed by the Supreme Court in such cases.
Raja Singh, member of Telangana Assembly, was arrested on Tuesday morning after massive protests by Muslims at various places in Hyderabad demanding strong and immediate action against him.
The police registered cases against Raja Singh at various police stations in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana.
At Mangalhat police station, he was booked under IPC Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 505 (2) (making, publishing or circulating any statement or report containing rumour or alarming news with intent to create or promote feelings of enmity and hatred) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
The MLA was also booked at Bahadurpura, Dabeerpura and Balanagar police stations in Hyderabad and in Sangareddy and Nizamabad districts.
Raja Singh on Monday night uploaded a video on Facebook making derogatory and blasphemous remarks against Islam and Muslims, triggering massive public outrage.
Scores of Muslims gathered at the police commissioner's office and also at different police stations on Monday night. The protesters demanded immediate action against Raja Singh. Some of the protesters were taken into preventive custody and shifted to various police stations.
Protests were held at Bahadurpura, Bhavani Nagar, Nampally, Dabeerpura and other areas. Leaders of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) lodged complaints against the BJP MLA at various police stations, including the Dabeerpura police station.
Raja Singh, a regular offender, was taken into preventive custody last Saturday for threatening to disrupt stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui's show. The show was held amid tight security.
The BJP MLA, who had alleged that the comedian insulted Hindu gods, posted a video on Facebook on Monday bnight saying it was a 'comedy' video like Faruqui's comedy. The video was later removed.
Raja Singh, who allegedly repeated the derogatory and blasphemous remarks against Islam and Muslims by now suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, denied that he insulted sentiments of any community. He said it was a comedy video aimed at Faruqui.
Taking serious note of Raja Singh's action, the BJP on Tuesday suspended him and served him a showcause notice seeking explanation as to why he should not be expelled from the party.
Following the protests, the police stepped up security in Hyderabad and in other parts of the state as a precautionary measure. Additional forces were deployed while the police intensified patrolling in the sensitive areas to prevent any untoward incident.
Meanwhile, traders in various parts of the old city and in Nampally, Mallepally and other areas downed shutters demanding action against the MLA.
The inauguration of a new flyover in Chandrayangutta was also postponed.
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