Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Raja Singh on Monday turned a cow vigilante as he and his team stopped a truck more carrying more than 50 cows which were allegedly headed to a slaughterhouse in Telangana. The legislator from Goshamahal, who said that he was accompanied by constables, stopped the truck in the limits of the Shamirpet police station in Hyderabad.
Videos of the incident show Raja Singh climbing atop the truck and inspecting the cows and calves that were in the vehicle. In a video statement he released later, he said, "The truck was illegally carrying 57 cows and calves to the slaughterhouse. Based on a tip-off, we stopped the truck along with constables from the police station and handed it over to the authorities. When we inspected the truck, we saw that it was well planned as the container was sealed from below and on the sides, but open from above."
"This is not happening in Telangana alone, but across India. I request 'Gau Rakshaks' (cow vigilantes) to take the help of police and prevent cows from being slaughtered by approaching it legally. We want to legally protect cows and ensure that they do not get slaughtered," he added.
Speaking to reporters later, the BJP MLA said, "I want to tell the Chief Minister one thing. There is a law. The police and the state government have to uphold it. I request the authorities to look into the matter and put an end to such things."
"Three people were detained. An FIR has been filed with a case booked under the Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Cow. Slaughter and Animals Preservation Act. The vehicle has been seized by the police and the animals which were recovered were sent to a 'gaushala,'" B. Naveen Reddy Inspector of Police, Shamirpet police station, told TNM.
Raja Singh is the only MLA from his party who managed to retain his seat in the Telangana elections, which were held on December 7.
The BJP MLA has repeatedly been in the news for spewing venom against the Muslim community. In 2018, he called for “shooting down” Rohingya Muslims as they were “foreigners” besides calling for a ban on the Quran and threatening to burn down theatres in Telangana that screened the Bollywood movie 'Padmaavat.' In 2017, he threatened to behead those who opposed the construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
According to the affidavit that he filed with the Election Commission in November, he had 43 police cases pending against him, including multiple charges of promoting enmity between different groups and hate speech.