A Mumbai court has ordered an FIR (first information report) against Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut for allegedly creating religious disharmony. Ms Ranaut, 33, has been accused of “continuously defaming Bollywood film industry” by a casting director who petitioned the court and said the ‘Queen’ actor is “creating a communal divide between people of two communities and in the mind of common man” through her tweets.
The order was passed on Friday by Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate Jaydeo Y Ghule as the court responded to a complaint by petitioner Sahil Ashrafali Sayyed; the complaint also mentions Ms Ranaut’s sister – Rangoli Chandel.
“She is well aware that she is a well-known actress and has a big fan base so her tweets will be seen and will reach out to many people,” the petitioner underlined.
“The allegations are based upon the comments made on electronic media – Twitter and interviews – and a thorough investigation by an expert is necessary,” the court said, directing the police station concerned to “initiate necessary action and investigation against the actor and her sister under relevant provisions of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).”
Ms Ranaut is “creating divisions between Hindu artists and Muslim artists,” the petitioner has alleged, stressing that she “is maliciously bringing religion into almost all her tweets”.
The petitioner citied the lynching of Hindu Sadhus at Maharashtra’s Palghar as an example and highlighted a tweet by Ms Ranaut calling the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) as “BABUR SENA” and another claiming that she was the first person to make a movie on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Rani Laxmi bai of Jhansi.
Mr Sayyed identifies himself as a casting director and a fitness trainer and mentions in his petition that he has worked with several prominent filmmakers, including Ram Gopal Verma, Sanjay Gupta and Nagarjuna.
He sought registration of the FIR under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity), 295A (malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings) and 124A (sedition) against the actor and her sister.
The ‘Queen’ actor is “portraying people working in Bollywood films as a hub of nepotism, favouritism, drug addicts, communally biased people, murderers, (sic)” he said in his complaint.
“Her sister, too, has made objectionable comments on social media to spread communal tension between two religious groups,” the complaint read.
The complainant goes on to mention the recent controversial comments by Ms. Ranaut when she compared Mumbai to POK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir). The remark led to a war of words between Ms. Ranaut and the Shiv Sena. “The said tweet again is misleading and false as Mumbai is one of the safest cities in the world,” the petitioner has said, adding that the “tweet is made maliciously to create disaffection towards Maharashtra government by falsely defaming Mumbai which is the capital of Maharashtra and commercial capital of India.”