Hours after a Bandra metropolitan court directed the police to register a FIR against Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel for allegedly spreading communal disharmony, the duo was booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). They were booked for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (section 153A), deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs (section 295A), sedition (section 124A) and common intention (section 34) at Bandra police station.
The police said the complaint was based on a series of tweets made by Kangana and her team.
Abhishek Trimukhe, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 9) confirmed the development and said that the case will be investigated. Munnawarali Sayyed, a casting director filed a case against the duo alleging, they are constantly making communal tweets and defaming the film industry in TV interviews.
Metropolitan Magistrate Jaydeo Y. Ghule said in his order that on prima facie perusal of the complaint and on hearing submissions made by the complainant’s advocate, cognizable offence has been committed by the duo. Further, the court said that thorough investigation is necessary by experts and search and seizure is necessary in the case. Magistrate Ghule passed an order under Sec 156(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code which empowers a magistrate to order an investigation.
Sayyed, a Bandra resident, who is a casting director and fitness trainer, had approached the court on October 15 to direct the Bandra police to register an FIR against Ranaut and her sister under relevant IPC sections. Sayyed told the court he had made a written complaint to the Bandra police on September 16 against the duo but no action was taken. He had even written a complaint to the zone’s DCP on October 1 but still no action was taken. Consequently, he approached the court to direct an investigation.
Responding to the development, Kangana’s advocate Rizwan Siddiquee tweeted that the order passed by the magistrate shall be dealt with on ‘merits’ as per procedure of law. “Right of speech and expression should not be construed as promoting communal disharmony,” he said.
In his complaint, Sayyed alleged that the Kangana through her tweets and TV interviews has been continuously defaming the Hindi film industry and portraying it as a hub of nepotism, favouritism, drug addicts, communally biased people and murderers. Her tweets are creating a communal divide. He alleged that she was maliciously bringing religion in all her tweets. He cited some of her tweets on Palghar lynching, that called the BMC “Babur Sena” and blamed the Tablighi Jamaat for spreading Coronavirus.
Sayyed said that Kangana has tried to create hatred and communal tension knowing that she has a huge fan base and her tweets are seen by many.
He referred to Kangana’s recent tweet in which she called the film industry ‘Islam dominated’. Sayyed said the common man gets the wrong impression that persons of one religion are persecuting those of another.
He also mentioned about her tweets against CM Uddhav Thackeray and the Mumbai police. He cited a tweet of Rangoli Chandel due to which her twitter account was deleted. Sayyed has sought for a detailed investigation.