In a controversial statement, a BJP MLA from Hyderabad on Sunday said that the heads of “traitors” opposing construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya will be chopped off. The MLA sparked a row with the statement and it drew criticism from the Congress. He was booked for trying to “outrage religious feelings.”
T Raja Singh, who represents Goshamahal constituency in Hyderabad, is heard issuing the threat to those opposed to Ram temple in Ayodhya in a video of Ram Navmi celebrations shot on April 5 which has gone viral.
Hyderabad Police on Sunday registered a case against Singh on the complaint of Amjed Ullah Khan, the spokesman for Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT), a local organisation of Muslims.
He has been booked by Dabeerpura police under IPC section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), Police Inspector D Venkanna Naik told PTI.
In his complaint, Khan said, “When the title dispute is pending in the Supreme Court, such type of statements by Raja Singh (MLA) is the violation of the Supreme Court. I request to take appropriate action against the BJP MLA Raja Singh to allow law and order to prevail in the city (sic).”
In the video, the MLA purportedly says, “The day is not far..the dream of every Hindu of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya (will be fulfilled).
“Recently, a video came on WhatsApp from Uttar Pradesh and someone was saying if Ram Mandir is built in Ayodhya they will create ‘tehelka’ (chaos) in entire country. We welcome this. In fact, we were waiting for this day for the past several years so that when you traitors raise your heads, we will behead you,” the MLA said.
When contacted today, Singh appeared defiant and said he can give his life for the sake of Ram temple and “even take the life of traitors who oppose the building of Ram temple.”
“We will not allow the people who believe in destroying this nation to stay in this country. It is our pledge to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya and we will abide by it. We can give our life for Ram temple and even take the life of traitors who oppose Ram temple in Ayodhya,” he told PTI.
In the video, the MLA was heard saying: “Nobody has the guts to stop construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. A grand Ram Mandir will be definitely built in Ayodhya. I challenge that whosoever tries to stop building a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, I will deal with such traitor.”
Union minister Uma Bharati had yesterday said that it was her “astha” (conviction) that the temple would be constructed at Ayodhya.
Amid the row, the Congress hit out at the BJP, saying its “mask” has fallen off and that minorities were being “intimidated” under the Modi government.
The BJP, however, sought to douse the controversy, saying the Ram temple can be built only with consensus. Party leader Shaina NC said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it clear that there is no space in a free and elected democratic society for people who choose to be the so-called moral custodians.
She said action could be taken against the MLA, if required. “We are a disciplined cadre, and if we feel there is need to pull up somebody, I am sure the person concerned will have to bear the brunt,” she said.
However, the Congress was unimpressed, with its spokesperson Sanjay Jha contending that the BJP cannot wash off its hands by calling those making inflammatory statements fringe elements.
“The truth is that there is no fringe anymore. These are mainstream elected BJP leaders either in parliament or the assembly.... This is a political strategy. This is a manifestation of the most ugliest form of politics.
“What is happening in Alwar? what happened in Dadri? you can see the kind of reactions happening all over the place where the BJP is currently in government, there is intimidation of the minorities.
“I think this is the most crude form of majoritarian politics, and let me assure you, the PM will not say a word, not even condemn it,” he added.
He was referring to the lynching of a Muslim man on suspicion that he had stored beef in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, in 2015, and the recent fatal attack on another man from the community by cow vigilantes in Rajasthan.
The Supreme Court, which is hearing the Ayodhya case, had recently said that the issue should be resolved through talks.