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Statue installation row: BJP MLA hurt; Self-inflicted, say police

Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh Lodh Thursday accused the police of "attacking and injuring" him while he and his supporters were installing a new statue of freedom fighter Rani Avanti Bai in place of the old one here, a charge denied by the police.

PTI PTI
Hyderabad Published on: June 20, 2019 22:17 IST
Telangana BJP MLA, T Raja Singh
Image Source : TWITTER

Telangana BJP MLA, T Raja Singh

Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh Lodh Thursday accused the police of "attacking and injuring" him while he and his supporters were installing a new statue of freedom fighter Rani Avanti Bai in place of the old one here, a charge denied by the police.

Police said at around 2 a.m on Thursday Raja Singh along with around 200 followers attempted to erect a 20-feet statue at Jummerat Bazar area, seeking to replace an old one,half its size, without permission and in violation of law.

Condemning the police attitude towards Raja Singh, BJP president in Telangana K Laxman claimed that the ruling TRS is unable to digest his party's growing popularity in the state.

"When MLA Raja Singh was installing the statue in its place, why this over-enthusiasm of the police? Why this discrimination? BJP severely condemns this," he told reporters, flanked by Singh.

"TRS government is unable to digest the growing popularity of BJP in Telangana in recent times, not able to tolerate four BJP MPs winning (in Lok Sabha polls)," he said.

Police remained a mute spectator and did not raise objection when a AIMIM MLA took law into his hands in the issue of demolition of a structure during road-widening in Hyderabad last month, he alleged.

Police had nothing to do with the incident Wednesday night and no objection was raised by municipal authorities, he claimed.

Police started lathicharging BJP workers and the MLA without prior warning, he alleged.

"When hit by a lathi, he (Singh), in that charged moment, hit his head with a stone, saying you want to kill me, why this partiality and what mistake I am committing. We are only re-installing the existing statue. Nothing new... Why this malice," Laxman said.

"This way, why this vindictiveness and discrimination for this government towards BJP leaders, MLAs and workers in recent times," Laxman said.

He asked whether the TRS government is doing such things intentionally as part of its alleged vindictiveness. He asked Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao as to why the government is not able to rein in the police.

The TRS government is not able to restrain its ally AIMIM when it indulged in actions not in public interest, but adopted a vindictive attitude towards BJP, he claimed.

Referring to the murder of a youth, claimed to be a BJP worker, in Mahabubnagar, he said BJP would not fear even if the ruling side started politics of murder and indulged in threats, and arrests against BJP leaders and workers.

BJP faced politics of violence of ruling TMC in West Bengal, he claimed. BJP cannot be stopped through arrests and politics of murder, he said.

BJP leaders, who met Additional DGP, demanded action against policemen who acted with over-enthusiasm, Laxman said. BJP is taking the issue to the notice of party working president JP Nadda, he said. "We will face this politics of violence democratically, peacefully," he said.

The city unit of BJP called for a bandh in Goshamahal, represented by Raja Singh, on Friday, he said. Raja Singh said police "attacked" them at the time after resorting to lathi-charge and he sustained "serious" head injuries, and had to be hospitalised.

Police denied the allegation, saying the injuries were self-inflicted, and booked a case of rioting against Singh and others under relevant IPC sections.

Singh, who is the lone BJP MLA in Telangana, posed a question: "Why the police was "targetting him regularly?" 

Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone) A R Srinivas dismissed Raja Singh's accusations and termed his claims that police attacked him as "totally false."

"They wanted to install the new statue in place of old one without permission which the police opposed and resisted following which Raja Singh and his supporters manhandled our policemen in which a few of our policemen sustained minor bruises. It is surprising that Raja Singh today claims he was attacked by police and injured, but it is totally false," the DCP told reporters here.

The police also released a video footage which purportedly shows Singh, who has been booked multiple times in the past for his alleged "inflammatory" remarks against a particular community, hitting his head with a stone-like object.

In a video, Singh referred to it purportedly showing him hitting his head with a stone. "Commissioner saab, I picked up the stone when your policemen hit me with lathi. I said, don't hit with lathi, take this stone and finish Raja Singh. I told this to your officers... Your target is to finish Raja Singh. I am ready to die for the country," he said.

He dared the Commissioner to release the video of policemen allegedly hitting him and party workers with lathis. A Lodhi-tribe warrior queen, Rani Avantibai Lodhi was the wife of Vikramaditya Singh, the ruler of the state of Ramgarh. She raised a 4,000-member army and personally led it against the British in 1857.

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