BJP MLA sustains injuries during statue installation; “self-inflicted”, say police

PTI, Jun 20, 2019, 3:39 PM IST

Hyderabad: Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh Lodh Thursday accused the police of “attacking and injuring” him while he and his supporters wereinstalling 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.

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 represents Goshamahal constituency in the city and 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 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. They forcibly installed a new statue after removing the old one and Raja Singh instigated his followers in doing so.

When he was prevented by the police he hit himself with a stone on his head and caused a self-inflicted injury and is falsely alleging that the police has caused this injury, the senior official said adding they could not show any valid permission for installing the new statue.

The police also released a video footage which purportedly shows Raja 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.

“There is a video which clearly shows Raja Singh hitting himself on his head with a stone and probably because of that stone he received injuries. There is no evidence to show police have beaten him,” Srinivas said.

Police also booked a case against Raja Singh and others in connection with the incident under IPC sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 143 (Whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly, 145 (Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly 147 (rioting) and other provisions.

“We are investigating and definitely arrests will be made based on further investigations,” the DCP added. 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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