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After Slapping Incident, Kangana Ranaut's Statement on 'Extremism in Punjab' Sparks Controversy

“When I asked her (CISF jawan), why did she do this, she said that she supported the farmers' protest. I am safe but my concern is that jo aatankwad aur ugarwad Punjab mai bad raha hai (the terrorism and extremism that is rising in Punjab), how do we handle that?" Ranaut said.
Kangana Ranaut. Photo: Screengrab from video

Jalandhar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s newly elected MP and Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut on Thursday (June 6) was allegedly slapped by an on-duty Central Reserve Police Force (CISF) jawan at Chandigarh airport. The CISF constable has been suspended with immediate effect.

Police and the CISF are yet to take a call on whether to file an FIR.

As per reports, the incident took place at around 3:30 pm, when Ranaut came out of security check at the airport. She was all set to board UK 707 flight to Delhi, after winning her maiden election from the Mandi Lok Sabha constituency in Himachal Pradesh.

The suspended CISF jawan has been identified as Kulvinder Kaur, who is from Mahiwal village of Kapurthala district, Punjab. The video footage of the incident has gone viral on social media, leading to a debate over the incident.

Later confirming the incident, Ranaut released a video on her official Instagram page, where she narrated the details and expressed concern over “rising terrorism and extremism in Punjab”.

In the video, Ranaut said, “I am getting a lot of phone calls from the media and my well-wishers. Firstly, I am safe, I am perfectly fine. The incident that took place happened at Chandigarh airport with security staff. The moment I came out after the security check, a security staff member in another cabin came from the side and hit me on my face and started abusing me.”

“When I asked her (CISF jawan), why did she do this, she said that she supported the farmers’ protest. I am safe but my concern is that jo aatankwad aur ugarwad Punjab mai bad raha hai (the terrorism and extremism that is rising in Punjab), how do we handle that?”

Within minutes, another video went viral, where Kaur was heard saying, “Isne byan diya tha na 100-100 Rs ke liye baith ti hai waha pe, ye baithi thi wha pe? Meri Maa baithi thi us time jab isne byan diya tha. Maa ki insult sehan nai huyi (She had given a statement that women farmers were sitting at farmers’ protest for Rs 100 each. My mother was also sitting there when she gave this statement. I could not tolerate the insult of my mother).”

When the 2020 farmers’ protest was at its peak, Ranaut had posted on her X handle that an elderly woman – ‘Dadi’ – who had joined the protest had also taken part in the Shaheen Bagh protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. ‘Dadi’ was featured in Time magazine for being one of the most powerful Indians. However, Ranaut had claimed that the women were being brought to the protest on payment of Rs 100 each per day.

Farmers’ unions demand probe, release of full footage

In a video message from Shambhu, Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) coordinator and senior leader Sarwan Pandher termed the incident as a mere coincidence and not a planned conspiracy. “Kangana has been speaking against the farmers and the Punjabi community earlier too. She is known for hurting their sentiments and defaming the elderly women farmers that they were paid Rs 100 to protest, which was wrong.”

Pandher said that they had also learnt that Ranaut misbehaved with the CISF jawan and an investigation should be conducted to bring out the truth. “We do not justify violence but Kangana’s dope test should be held to ascertain the facts. The airport authorities should also release the video footage of our three young farmers Navdeep Singh, Gurkirat Singh and Anish Khatkar, who too were arrested from the same airport during the Shambhu morcha protest,” he said.

The senior farmers’ leader also said that this was not the first time when politicians had to face the anger of the public over sensitive issues. “There were incidents when a shoe was hurled at Congress leader P. Chidambaram, while Arvind Kejriwal was slapped in public. People express anger against injustice but it is wrong to arrest them or act against them. I also spoke to Kulvinder Kaur’s brother, who informed us that the police were not even informing them about her whereabouts. If any untoward incident takes place, we will hold a massive protest against the government,” he added.

KMM member and BKU (Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar) spokesperson Tejveer Singh Ambala said that the government noticed the slapping incident, but they never saw the firing, tear gas shelling and killing of Shubh Karan Singh at Shambhu.

On Ranaut’s statement that terrorism and extremism are on the rise in Punjab, Tejveer said that Ranaut hates Punjab and she has been defaming Punjab and Punjabis for quite some time now. “Even today the farmers were sitting on the road in the scorching heat fighting for an MSP law and the rights of the common man in the country, but she did not think twice before abusing Punjab.”

Demanding a detailed investigation, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leader Raminder Singh Patiala also said that Ranaut’s statement that terrorism and extremism are increasing in Punjab was atrocious.

“It is wrong to paint Punjab as an extremist state. It seems that the BJP has still not understood or accepted that the people of the country have given a verdict against hate speech and their communal politics. BJP failed to open its account in Punjab and it faced crushing defeat in Uttar Pradesh. Wherever farmers held protests, BJP was wiped out. At the same time, CISF is a disciplined force, if a jawan feels provoked, then one can well imagine the anger of common people against such irresponsible statements,” he added.

SGPC condemns Ranaut’s comments on Punjab

Meanwhile, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) president Harjinder Singh Dhami said that Ranaut’s continuous targeting of Punjab and Punjabis was extremely unfortunate and painful.

“Kangana’s statement that terrorism is increasing in Punjab is an expression of her sick mentality, while the truth is that the terrorism is being spread through her tongue, polluting the atmosphere of the country. Kangana should never forget that if the multi-ethnic and multilingual culture of the country was alive today, it was because of the sacrifices made by the Punjabis for the country,” he added.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition in Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha Jairam Thakur said that he learnt about this incident from TV news channels. “If it has happened, it is highly unfortunate and wrong. Legal action should be taken against the CISF jawan as nobody has the right to slap an elected member of the parliament. There are other ways of conveying sentiments,” he said.

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