With social distancing and all caution thrown to the wind, large crowds of workers from political parties staged protests outside the arrival area of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) on Wednesday for actor Kangana Ranaut's arrival from her hometown. While Shiv Sena workers were seen holding black flags and shouting slogans against Ranaut, workers from Republican Party of India (RPI) (A) and Karni Sena had gathered in support of the actress. The crowd soon dispersed after they learnt that the actress left the airport and no arrests, detentions were made.
According to police, Ranaut arrived at the CSMIA around 2.30pm on Wednesday, but discreetly moved out of the airport via a special gate to evade any media or public outburst. Sena workers had staged a protest by swinging black flags and shouting slogans against her amid her row on comparing Mumbai to PoK.
Extending support and ensuring Ranaut's safety in the city, workers of the RPI (A) and Karni Sena claimed she is a queen and she will be safe. Their support comes after RPI (A) leader and Union minister Ramdas Athawale declared that his party workers will protect Kangana while she is in Mumbai.
The Mumbai Police and CISF had tightened the security around the airport. Manjunath Singe, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 8) said adequate security arrangements were made at the airport premises to avert any untoward incident. "The protesters were shouting slogans and did not take any violent turns. The crowd dispersed soon after the actress reached her Khar residence,” the police said.
While the protests were underway, the party workers and those gathered to extend their support in the protest had not maintained social distancing and flouted every norm that was to be followed amid the Unlock procedure announced by the state government.
As pictures and videos went viral on social media, there was backlash on the social distancing norms flouted in a public gathering at the airport. Reacting and sharing a photo of the protest at the airport, a social media post read, "COVID-19 must be very happy today. You won, virus! Congratulations India!!"