Kangana, sister record statements before police in sedition case

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(Ed: Updating) Mumbai, Jan 8 (PTI) Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut on Friday appeared before Bandra police here alongwith her sister to record statements in a case of sedition and spreading communal hatred, and claimed in a video earlier in the day that she was being targeted for expressing her views.

Ranaut, who has been provided Y-plus category security of CRPF personnel, and her sister Rangoli Chandel arrived at the police station in suburban Mumbai around 1 pm with their lawyer amid heavy media presence.

They left after nearly two hours. A senior police official said they could be called again for questioning after the next hearing in the magistrate's court.

'As per the assurance given to the High Court, she and her sister appeared before the police and recorded their statements today,' Ranaut's lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui told PTI.

A magistrate's court in Bandra had directed the police to carry out an inquiry against Ranaut and Chandel following a complaint for allegedly trying to create hatred and communal tension through their social media posts.

Casting director and fitness trainer Munawwar Ali Sayyad had filed the complaint referring to tweets and other statements from Ranaut and her sister.

The police registered an FIR in October. They were booked under IPC sections, including 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race), 295-A (deliberate acts hurting religious sentiments) and 124-A (sedition).

Ahead of her visit to the police station, Ranaut put out a video on Twitter to say she was being targeted for expressing her opinion on issues related to the country's welfare.

'My house was demolished illegally. When I talk about the welfare of the farmers there are cases being registered against me almost every day, for instance there is a case against me because I laughed,' she claimed in the 1.30 minute video.

The video was titled, 'Why am I being mentally, emotionally and now physically tortured? I need answers from this nation... I stood for you it's time you stand for me'.

She said there was a case against sister Rangoli for speaking up about the attacks on doctors during the initial days of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

'Even my name was added in that case even though I was not even on Twitter at the time. Usually, this does not happen, but it was done. And our Honourable Chief Justice rejected this saying this case does not make any sense.' Ranaut said she did not know why she was ordered to mark her attendance at the police station.

'... and no one is telling me what kind of attendance is this? I have also been told that I can't talk about the torture that I am being subjected to with anyone.' The 33-year-old actor also brought in the Supreme Court of India in her video and ended with 'Jai Hind'.

Mumbai Police had sent notices to the sisters thrice, asking them to appear for recording their statements in the case.

The Bombay High Court in November had granted interim protection from arrest to Kangana and her sister, and directed them to appear before the police on January 8.

The high court is scheduled to hear the petition, which seeks quashing of the FIR, on January 11. PTI DC RSY KKP AVI SP MIN BK KRK KRK