A Judicial Magistrate First Class court in Karnataka’s Tumkur district on friday directed the state police to register a first information report against actor Kangana Ranaut for her tweets on the farmers agitations against the new agriculture laws, Live Law reported. Ranaut had called the protesting farmers terrorists.
A complaint was filed by advocate Ramesh Naik L under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which empowers a magistrate to initiate an investigation by a police officer.
The matter relates to a tweet posted by the actor on September 21, in which she compared the farmers to “rioters” who protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act, and accused them of “causing terror in the nation”.
“People who spread misinformation and rumours about CAA that caused riots are the same people who are now spreading misinformation about Farmers bill and causing terror in the nation, they are terrorists,” Ranaut had tweeted. “You very well know what I said but simply like to spread misinformation”.
The plea alleged that the actor made such riling statements with the clear intention to injure the people who are opposing the farmers bills, “wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riots’. It further alleged that Ranaut’s tweet could possibly lead to “a collision between different groups”.
Naik added that neither the police nor the government had so far initiated any action to curb the actor from making such statements, and had failed to register any case against her either. Therefore, the advocate demanded that an FIR be registered under Sections 153A (creating disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different by words), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 108 (a person abets an offence) of the Indian Penal Code against Ranaut.
Weeks after Parliament passed three controversial farm bills, protests against the legislations continue to be staged in Punjab and Haryana. When two of the legislations were tabled during a chaotic session in Parliament on September 20, some Opposition MPs claimed that they would prove to be the “death warrant” for the agricultural sector. President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the bills on September 27, after which they became laws.
Critics say that these new agricultural policies will lead to farmers losing out on guaranteed purchase prices for their crops, to the benefit of large corporations. Most Opposition parties and farmers’ organisations across the country have strongly opposed the bills.