Tight security in old Hyderabad

 Telangana | Written by : IANS Updated: Fri, Aug 26, 2022, 12:34 PM

Hyderabad, Aug 26 (IANS) Tight security arrangements have been made by police in parts of Hyderabad in view of the possibility of more protests after Friday prayers against suspended BJP MLA Raja Singh over his derogatory comments about Prophet Mohammad.

Though the MLA was re-arrested on Thursday and sent to jail and Muslim leaders have appealed to the community to offer prayers at mosques near their homes, police are not taking any chances.

A thick security blanket has been thrown around historic Charminar and Mecca Masjid to prevent any untoward incident.

Hundreds of policemen and personnel of Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in communally sensitive old city in the wake of protests during the last four days over the MLA's video.

As the MLA was arrested and sent to jail, AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi and leaders of various Muslims organisations have appealed to Muslims to disperse peacefully after Friday prayers.

Muslims, especially youth have been urged to pray at mosques near their homes and not to come to Mecca Masjid. The historic mosque witnessed massive protests on various issues in the past.

The police were keeping a tight vigil around the mosque to stop any procession after the prayers. Barricades were erected around Charminar and restrictions were imposed to prevent any untoward incident.

The communally sensitive old city has been on the edge ever since Raja Singh posted a video online on Monday making derogatory comments. Massive protests broke out at several places the same night to demand his arrest.

The next day Raja Singh was arrested but a city court granted him bail. The BJP also suspended the MLA from the party and asked him to show cause why he should not be expelled.

However, Raja Singh remained unapologetic and declared that he will come out with more videos. Due to continuing protests, the state government was under pressure to act tough against the MLA.

He was finally re-arrested on Thursday. Hyderabad Police Commissioner C. V. Anand invoked Preventive Detention (PD) Act against Raja Singh, a rowdy-sheeter of Mangalhat police station limits. He was sent to Cherlapally jail.

According to police, Raja Singh has been habitually delivering provocative and inflammatory speeches and driving a wedge between communities leading to public disorder.

A total of 101 criminal cases have been registered against him since 2004. He was involved in 18 communal offences in the limits of different police stations in Hyderabad.

Following the MLA's arrest, his supporters staged protests at a few places in his Goshamahal constituency and observed a shutdown. Police have also stepped up security in Mangalhat and surrounding areas to ensure peace.