Police have arrested a 50-year-old man in Nanded district of Maharashtra on the charge of inciting the Muslim community youth against an upcoming rally of suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Telangana MLA T Raja Singh, an official said on Friday.
The controversial leader’s rally is scheduled to be held at Biloli in Nanded on April 9, he said.
The accused, Suleman Ahmed Shaikh, was arrested on Thursday and a local court sent him to 14-day judicial custody, the police said.
“Shaikh had held a meeting at a private function hall in Biloli on March 24, where he appealed to the Muslim community youth present there that they should oppose the rally of T Raja Singh, stating that it would lead to tension in the area. A video of this meeting went viral later. After going through the video, the police suo motu registered an offence on Wednesday and held Shaikh in the early hours of Thursday,” the official said.
Efforts are on to nab another accused, he added.
Inspector Anant Barude of Biloli police station said that Shaikh is a history-sheeter and was named in around seven cases.
A case under sections 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against the accused and further investigation was underway, he said.
The BJP had suspended T Raja Singh from the party in August 2022 following an uproar over his alleged remarks against Islam and Prophet Mohammed. He had been booked over the remarks and was arrested but he later secured bail. Singh represents Goshamahal in Telangana capital Hyderabad.
The BJP man, known for his strong Hindutva views, faces several police cases in Hyderabad, including those related to alleged communal offences.