There has been quite the debate since actor Kangana Ranaut drew a parallel between Mumbai and Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Amid outrage from many quarters, Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik had demanded her arrest.
"MP Sanjay Raut cautioned Kangana in a very mild way. If she comes here then our brave women will not leave without slapping her. I will demand Kangana to be booked for sedition for comparing Mumbai, the city which creates industrialists and film stars, to PoK," Sarnaik tweeted in Marathi.
In a later post he had said that he stood by his statements.
At the same time, the National Commission for Women (NCW) had taken suo motu cognisance of the situation and Sarnaik's comments. Chairperson Rekha Sharma had also sought his immediate arrest by the Mumbai Police.
"@NCWIndia has taken cognizance of the threats given to @KanganaTeam by MLA @PratapSarnaik. Commission has taken serious note of the hatred spread against a woman by people in responsible position.Chairperson @sharmarekha has written to @DGPMaharashtra for strict against the MLA," the organisation had tweeted on Friday night.
Sharma for her part had condemned the incident with a chat screenshot that mentions how Kangana had no right to stay in the city. "We will make sure she can't enter Mumbai, we will beat her to death with stones and rods just how we lynched Palghar sadhus," the message shown in the screengrab adds.
On Saturday, Sarnaik took to Twitter claiming that Rekha Sharma was sharing a fake screenshot in a bid to "spread malicious lies and incite communal disharmony on the behest of BJP".
"I have never said anything like this and request you to immediately delete it," he said.
In a follow-up post Sarnaik added that while he had not said what was written in the screengrab, he did indeed stand by what he had said, reiterating his point about "not tolerating any disrespect to our Motherland".
"We have not forgotten the sacrifice of 106 Heroes who laid down their lives and ensured the inclusion of Mumbai in Maharashtra and we will follow their footsteps to protect our Pride," he wrote.
"You hold an important position and I request you to maintain the dignity of the same and not be a pawn in the hand of your political masters to further their agenda," he added in a follow-up post.
Earlier too, Sarnaik had alleged links between the NCW and the BJP, adding that he was willing to go to jail "for the pride of Mumbai and Maharashtra".
Kangana however has said in later posts that she holds the city of dreams in high esteem. "No words to express my gratitude for my friends from everywhere including Maharashtra, they know my intentions and I don’t need to prove my love for my Karmbhoomi Mumbai who I always referred to as Maa Yashodha who adopted me, Jai Mumbai Jai Maharashtra (sic)," she wrote in one tweet on Saturday.
Following a news report wherein BJP leader Ashish Shelar had said that the party did not agree with what Ranaut had said about Mumbai and Maharashtra, Ranaut had also tweeted that the BJP had not been close to her in the first place.
"BJP distanced itself from me ? Really @MumbaiMirror? When was @BJP4India close to me in the first place? Am I a minister or a politician? I have never spoken to anyone ever in BJP, stop with these conspiracy theories," she wrote.