Modi's party suspends lawmaker after his arrest for prophet remark

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party suspended a state lawmaker from its membership on Tuesday, hours after he was arrested on suspicion of “promoting enmity in the name of religion”.

T. Raja Singh, a lawmaker in the southern state of Telangana, was arrested and later released by a court in Hyderabad city, a lawyer for Singh told Reuters, after Muslim groups demanded his arrest for his comments about the Prophet Mohammad.

Hours after he was detained by local police, Singh was suspended from his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pending an internal inquiry.

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“He has been suspended for expressing views contrary to the party's beliefs. The party doesn't believe in running any religion down,” Om Pathak, the party official who issued Singh's suspension order, told Reuters.

Singh's suspension comes months after the BJP suspended a spokesperson for her remarks on the prophet that had led to a diplomatic backlash against India.

“He has been charged with promoting enmity in the name of religion... This about the recent video that he posted,” Joel Davis, a senior police official in Hyderabad city, told Reuters.

In the video, available on social media, Singh, and in an apparent reference to the Muslim prophet, said an elderly man had married a girl decades his junior. Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

Hundreds of Muslims protested against Singh on Monday evening after the video appeared on social media, footage from media showed.

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