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'Only Criticised AIMIM, Not Muslims': 5 Instances That Prove Raja Singh Wrong

On 10 October, the Goshamahal MLA responded to BJP's show-cause notice and claimed he "never criticised Muslims."

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(Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of hate speech. Viewer discretion is advised.)

T Raja Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Telangana, is no stranger to controversy. Arrested twice in August this year for his alleged defamatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad, Singh was suspended from the BJP after the party's disciplinary committee sought an explanation for his statements in a show-cause notice.

On 10 October, the Goshamahal MLA, who is currently lodged in Hyderabad's Cherlapally Central Prison, responded to the said show-cause notice, claiming he "never criticised the Muslim community" and that his verbal attacks were always directed at the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). However, The Quint has found reported instances of Singh's hate speeches that prove his claims wrong.

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What Has Raja Singh Claimed?

Raja Singh's statement from prison read:

"Whenever I criticise MIM for its communal politics, they are creating the impression that I have been criticising Muslims. Since the word 'Muslim' is part of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), they are alleging that I am criticising the entire Muslim community. I have never made personal comments against them (Muslims)."
T Raja Singh, Goshamahal MLA

Days before he was arrested, Singh was taken into preventive custody on 19 August for trying to disrupt the comedy show of Munawar Faruqui, saying that the latter "insults Hindu gods" in his shows. In the statement, Singh also said that he made a video against Faruqui only "to make people understand how he does his show" and that it did not "deliberately hurt any religion's sentiments."

But Singh's explanation falls flat on multiple counts because, on several occasions, he has taken to social media and public forums to spread hatred against Islam and Muslims, with not even the slightest mention of the AIMIM, which is led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. Moreover, there are about 101 cases registered against Singh – several of them for offences that are communal in nature – though he has been convicted in just one case so far.

Here are five instances of hate speech that Singh has made over the past few years, which prove that his 'I never criticised Muslims' claim is far from the truth.

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'India Will Be Safe Only if Illegal Rohingyas Are Shot'

In July 2018, when the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) debate was raging, Raja Singh 'suggested' that 'illegal' Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshis be shot if they didn't leave the country respectfully.

"If these Rohingyas and Bangladeshi illegal immigrants do not leave India respectfully, then they should be shot and eliminated. Only then will our country be safe," the BJP MLA said, sparking a controversy.

Two years later, in August 2020, Singh said that he continued to stand by his remarks on Rohingya Muslims and that they must be sent away "if they are indulging in anti-national activities."

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'West Bengal Hindus Should Respond Like Hindus in Gujarat'

Against the backdrop of the communal violence that erupted in West Bengal's Baduria and Basirhat in 2017, Raja Singh said that the "Hindus in West Bengal should respond the same way the Hindus in Gujarat did," in an obvious reference to the 2002 Gujarat riots. In a video message on Twitter, he also asked "Bengal Tigers" to unite against those opposing them to protect themselves.

"Today, Hindus are not safe in the West Bengal state. Hindus in Bengal should respond to people involved in communal violence as Hindus in Gujarat did. Otherwise, soon Bengal will turn into Bangladesh."
T Raja Singh, Goshamahal MLA

The Baduria and Basirhat riots were triggered by a social media post by a teenager, in which he made alleged objectionable remarks against Prophet Muhammad. One person died and dozens were injured in the violence, with several houses set ablaze by mobs.

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'Ban the Green Book'

In July 2018, Raja Singh called for a ban on the Quran, which he termed the 'Green Book,' because its verses "call for the killing of Hindus." Alleging that the 'Green Book' was the cause of terrorism in the country, he said, "When their religious texts say that Hindus should be slaughtered, how can I go for their Iftar parties? And, how can I host Iftar parties?"

Later, the Rein Bazaar Police in Hyderabad registered a case against the legislator, warning him of serious consequences if he made such statements again.

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'Hindus Must Wield Weapons'

In 2017, the Yadigir Police in Karnataka registered a case against Raja Singh, for making a provocative speech that could disturb communal harmony.

The Goshamahal MLA had made the speech at the Virat Hindu Samavesh convention in Yadagiri, where he brandished a sword, asking all Hindus in the country to pick up their weapons.

He said:

"Whoever comes between us and Hindu Rashtra, we will erase them, and we won't spare them. Brothers, prepare yourselves and learn to wield swords. Why do we have to learn? We have to learn to protect our religion and Hindu Rashtra. For this, every Hindu must have weapons at his house. If you don't have weapons, then you can't save yourself or your family."
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'Boycott Trade With Kashmiri Muslim Traitors'

The BJP MLA, in May 2017, asked Hindus to stop buying goods from Kashmiri Muslims as they were 'traitors.' In a video uploaded on YouTube, Raja Singh said:

"To those who visit Amarnath and other holy sites during the summer vacation, my request is that don't buy anything even worth Rs 1, from these Kashmiri Muslim traitors. Those who go to Srinagar after the pilgrimage, don't buy anything from these traitors who attack and kill our soldiers."

He added that "if we stop buying from them, they will get on their knees and say that they don't want Pakistan or Azad Kashmir."

Will Telangana BJP expel Singh or will he get away with obviously spurious claims?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Telangana   Communal   Rohingya 

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