Indian lawmaker arrested over derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad
New Delhi, Aug 23 (EFE).- A lawmaker from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was arrested on Tuesday after overnight protests sparked by his abusive remarks allegedly against the Prophet Muhammed.
T Raja Singh, a regional legislator from the southern state of Telangana, is renowned for inciting conflicts with his anti-Muslim and Islamophobic rhetoric.
Recently, he made derogatory remarks towards the Prophet in a viral video that he claimed was meant to be “comedy.”
The video sparked protests by Muslim groups in the state capital Hyderabad as they found the remarks insulting to the Prophet, the most revered figure in Islam.
Police told regional media that they had filed a case against Singh for outraging religious sentiments and promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion.
An online video of police taking Singh from his residence shows the two-time member of the regional legislative assembly warning that he had posted only the first part of his comedy video and would upload the second part soon.
“They removed my video from YouTube. I don’t know what the police are going to do. Once I am released second part (of the video) will certainly be uploaded,” he told reporters during his arrest, according to local broadcaster ETV Bharat.
A police complaint alleged that Singh used “very vulgar language against the Prophet” in his video uploaded on social media.
In the video, uploaded on the Jai Shree Ram YouTube channel, the legislator criticized Muslim standup comedian Munawar Faruqui, who has been accused of insulting Hindu gods in his shows.
In castigating Faruqui, Singh made remarks about the “lord of those who wear skullcaps,” repeating the comments made by the now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma some months ago.
However, the lawmaker did not directly name Prophet Muhammed in his comments, instead dropped hints by referring to the lord of the Muslims.
Sharma’s comments against the Prophet in a TV news debate had outraged the Muslim world and triggered an international diplomatic storm.
Several Muslim countries and the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had strongly condemned the remarks by the BJP leader, who was suspended from the Hindu nationalist ruling party amid violent protests in India and the international backlash.
The OIC then said the abusive comments against the Prophet were part of “the escalation of Islamophobia in India and systematic harassment of faith-based minorities in the country”, home to the third-largest Muslim population on the planet after Indonesia and Pakistan.
Calls were also given for a boycott of Indian products in Gulf countries. EFE