The Kolkata Police on Tuesday issued summons to actor and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Paresh Rawal for his statement regarding the Bengali community during a poll rally in Gujarat’s Valsad city, reported The Indian Express.
He has been asked to appear before the Kolkata Police on December 12, Joint Commissioner of Police Murlidhar Sharma said.
At the rally, Rawal had said that the residents of Gujarat could tolerate inflation but not Rohingya migrants living next door.
“If gas cylinders get expensive, they will become cheaper again,” the former BJP MP from the Ahmedabad East constituency had said. “If inflation goes up, it will come down. People will get employment too. But what if Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshis start living around you, like in Delhi?”
He had further said: “What will you do with the gas cylinders? First cook fish for the Bengalis?”
On December 2, the actor had apologised for hurting the sentiments of the Bengali community.
“Of course the fish is not the issue as Gujaratis do cook and eat fish,” he had said in reply to a user on Twitter. “But let me clarify – by Bengali I meant illegal Bangladeshi and Rohingya. But still if I have hurt your feelings and sentiments, I do apologise.”
Rawal was booked on a complaint lodged by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammed Salim, who accused the actor of promoting hatred against Bengalis.
“Such speech on public domain has been made to provoke riots and destroy harmony between Bengali community and other communities across the country, and cause public mischief,” the CPI(M) leader said. He claimed that the comments insinuated that all Bengalis are “foreigners and/or illegal immigrants”.
A case was registered under Sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputation, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 504 (intentional interest with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
On the summons issued to Rawal on Tuesday, Salim said that the basic intention of the BJP is to disrupt harmony, reported the Hindustan Times.