Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut failed to appear before the Mumbai Police on Wednesday in connection with an FIR registered against her for a post that allegedly linked farmers' protests to a separatist group, an official said.
An FIR was registered against Ranaut at Khar police station last month following a complaint by a Sikh organisation. The police earlier this month issued a notice to her for questioning. Her counsel had told the Bombay High Court that she would appear before the Khar police on December 22. On Wednesday, her lawyer sought another date for appearance.
"Going by the spirit, aim and intent of the high court order, we requested the investigation officer for an earlier date and wanted to expedite the process before the next court hearing. However, the investigation officer was not willing to accommodate us. He neither responded to my messages or calls nor did he revert on the letter which was served on him immediately after the order," said Ranaut's lawyer, Rizwan Sidiquee.
"Now my client will appear before him on another earliest date as may be available. If the officer does not accommodate us, then we will leave it to the high court to decide on the matter on merits,” he said. The city police had earlier told the Bombay High Court that they will not arrest Ranaut till January 25, 2022 over her social media post that allegedly linked farmers' protests to a separatist group.
The police had made the statement after the HC said the issue involved the larger question of Ranaut's fundamental right to free speech and that the court will have to grant her some ad-interim relief. Ranaut approached the HC earlier this month, seeking that the FIR registered against her at Khar police station be quashed.
The FIR was registered against the actor following a complaint made by some members of a Sikh body that claimed Ranaut, through her Instagram post, had portrayed the farmers' protest on Delhi borders as a Khalistani movement. The police then booked Ranaut on charges of deliberately hurting the community's religious sentiments, under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code.
-With PTI Inputs