The Mumbai Police on Wednesday summoned actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel for the third time to record their statements in a sedition case registered against them for allegedly promoting enmity between different communities, the Hindustan Times reported.
The two have been summoned for questioning on November 23 and 24. “We have issued the third notice and asked them to join and cooperate with the Bandra police in the investigation,” Deputy Police Commissioner Abhishek Trimukhe told the newspaper.
Both Ranaut and Chandel had failed to show up last two times for questioning. Their lawyer, Rizwan Siddiqui, had responded to the first notice, claiming the women were busy with the wedding of their brother in Himachal Pradesh until November 15.
The Mumbai police had again issued a notice to the sisters on November 3, asking them to appear before its investigators on November 10. However, no response was received over this summons.
A court in Mumbai had on October 17 directed the police to file a first information report against Ranaut and Chandel for allegedly trying to create communal tension through their tweets and interviews. The complaint was filed by casting director Munnawarali Sayyed, who had pointed to Ranaut’s comment comparing Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and her remarks on the investigation into Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.
Sayyed said an investigation was needed to ascertain the motive behind their tweets and to find out “who are the people backing such hatred to create communal tensions and sentiments against the government”. The complaint also accused Ranaut of “maliciously bringing religion in all her tweets”. He said that a divide was being created by artists belonging to different religions.
The women have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to committing malicious or deliberate acts with the intention of outraging religious feelings of citizens, sedition, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence or language and common intention.
On October 29, a Mumbai court ordered an inquiry against the sisters in another case related to allegedly derogatory tweets made by them against Muslims. The order came after advocate Ali Kashif Khan Deshmukh approached the court, saying that the Amboli police station had not taken any action on a complaint filed by him against the sisters.
Ranaut, who has made several controversial statements recently, is also facing an FIR filed last month by the Karnataka Police for her tweet against farmers protesting the Centre’s new agriculture laws. She had referred to the protestors as “terrorists”.
The actor had become entangled in a row with the Maharashtra government after she said that Mumbai felt like Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to her and that she feared living in the city. The actor was provided Y-plus security by the Centre.
On November 3, lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar filed a criminal defamation complaint against Ranaut over her comments about him in an interview with Republic TV in July. While speaking about the death of Rajput, Ranaut reportedly told Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami that Akhtar was part of a “suicide gang” and that “he can get away with pretty much anything in Mumbai”.