MUMBAI: Hitting out at actor Kangana Ranaut for comparing Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday urged the Maharashtra government to take against people defaming the city police.
He also asked Ranaut to tour the PoK first to see the situation prevailing there. In a tweet, Ranaut had recently asked, "Why is Mumbai feeling like Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir?". She had tagged a news report by the New Indian Express where Sanjay Raut had purportedly said that she should not come back to Mumbai if she was afraid of the city police.
Talking to reporters, Raut on Friday said that Mumbai police had protected the city from all obstacles by sacrificing their lives. "Mumbai is a part of Maharashtra because of the sacrifice of 106 martyrs. If people who have nothing to do with the city malign it and its police, the state government and the home minister, who is in charge of the police force, should take action, or else the morale of the police will take a beating," Raut said.
He claimed that there was a conspiracy behind maligning the image of Mumbai police. "I will not take names. But I don't give hollow threats. I believe in action as I am a Shiv sainik. The state health department and the home department should deal with mental cases which are on the rise. Take action as per law. The political parties that are supporting those attacking Maharashtra's 'asmita' (identity) by calling it Pakistan, they have no right to seek votes in the state and Mumbai," Raut said.
"Such political parties who got votes in Mumbai should clarify if people of PoK havevoted for them. They should be ashamed of supporting those elements who defame the Mumbai police...Such people have no right to stay here," he said.
"This is an insult of the real Rani of Jhansi, who was a brave daughter of Maharashthra," he said, adding that nationalism has been taken to a new low. "Can't I react to the comments criticising Mumbai police and the state of Maharashtra? What is PoK? Kangana should tour that place first and the situation prevailing there," he said.
In a tweet, Ranaut, who is currently in Manali, said she has decided to travel to Mumbai on September 9.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Ashish Shelar distanced the party from Ranaut's comments. "Kangana should not try to teach Mumbai, Mumbaikars and Maharashtra. Sanjay Raut should not attack us through Kangana Ranaut. BJP has nothing to do with Kangana. Don't link us to her statements," he said.