(Trigger warning: Hate speech, abuse, description of violence.)
Suleman Ahmed Sheikh, 50, was arrested by the Biloli Police in Maharashtra’s Nanded district on 5 April for allegedly “inciting” the youth from the Muslim community to oppose a rally where suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA T Raja Singh, known for giving communally charged speeches, was to be in attendance.
A week later, Suleman’s cousin Waliuddin Sheikh told The Quint, “T Raja Singh has a history of making communally charged hate speeches. Look at his track record in Maharashtra alone. He went to so many districts and spewed venom against Muslims.”
He added, “When we learnt that he and his toli are coming to Biloli, we knew what we were supposed to do. So, several concerned Muslims of the town got together and decided to take the complaint to the administration — the police, the District Collector. But look what happened. Instead of stopping him, they arrested one of us,” Waliuddin said.
Waliuddin told The Quint that Suleman managed to secure a bail on Tuesday, 11 April, and will walk out of prison in a day’s time.
What are the Charges Against Suleman Sheikh?
Suleman, a businessman and worker of the Congress party, along with one Azhar Qureshi, was named in the FIR and charged under sections 34 (criminal act done with common intention) and 505 (2) ((statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Sayed Mainuddin, 27, a resident of Biloli for 15 years, was also present at the meeting which Suleman addressed. He told The Quint, “Suleman only urged people to take the matter to the authorities, including the police, and the Collector. How is that a crime? In fact, the people who addressed the Sunday rally said things which are against India’s Constitution. Why has no action been taken against them?”
While Suleman was produced in a local court and sent to a 14-day judicial custody, Azhar is yet to be arrested.
Speaking to The Quint, police inspector Anant Narute of the Biloli police station, said, “The police took suo moto action and registered an FIR in connection with this case. While Suleman is in judicial custody, we’re still trying to locate Azhar Qureshi. He will be arrested soon.”…
This story was originally published in thequint.com. Read the full story here