Lok Sabha MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar, leader of the Telangana unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was taken into custody by the Telangana Police earlier on Tuesday, in Jangaon district.
The BJP leader was on a dharna on Monday, to protest the arrest of party members who demonstrated outside TRS MLC K Kavitha’s home. Many of the BJP activists who demonstrated were detained, and some of them were charged with attempted murder. The BJP workers had revolted after the Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader was implicated in the New Delhi liquor scam. While on the dharna, Sanjay asked that the police drop the charges. BJP leader and spokesman NV Subash acknowledged that the party’s state chief had been arrested.
Sanjay was staging a Dharma Deeksha demonstration in opposition to the police’s arrest of those BJP members in Hyderabad, who were allegedly responsible for an attack on MLC Kavitha’s home during the protest. Raja Singh, a BJP lawmaker, was earlier detained by Hyderabad Police on Tuesday after he allegedly made a derogatory comment against the Prophet Muhammad. On Tuesday morning, the Goshamahal MLA was the subject of a FIR filed by Hyderabad South Zone Police.
The FIR against him was filed at the Dabeerpura Police Station, in accordance with sections 153A, 295, and 505 of the Indian Penal Code. Late on Monday, when Singh released a video in which he is said to have made the statements, protests broke out in several areas of Hyderabad. Demonstrators gathered in front of the city police commissioner’s office and demanded that the BJP MLA be punished immediately. Police took the protesters into custody at the commissioner’s office in Basheer Bagh, and shifted them to several police stations.
Over 250 people protested in front of the Dabeerpura Police Station on Monday night, alleging that Raja Singh had uploaded a video disparaging the Prophet, and had also attacked and harmed the community’s religious sensibilities, as informed by the inspector.
“We immediately took all the details from them and registered a case under relevant sections of IPC, and further probe into the case has been initiated,” said the inspector in-charge at the Dabeerpura Police Station.
The BJP MLA had been placed under house detention on August 19, after opposing stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui’s performance scheduled in Hyderabad for August 20. Singh had said in a video that the Hyderabad Police had protected the stand-up comedian and contributed to the success of his act. He alleged that Faruqui had used derogatory language towards him, and made several comments that offended religious feelings.
The BJP has, however, suspended Singh for “expressing views contrary to the party’s position”. It has also asked him to show cause regarding why he should not be expelled from the party, within 10 days.
In the meantime, security has been stepped up and soldiers have been sent out from the office of the Hyderabad police commissioner.
The Telangana BJP has requested demonstrations at all party offices today, between 5 and 6 pm, following Bandi Sanjay’s arrest. As a sign of protest, the party has ordered its employees to also don black badges.