Congress local leaders and workers, who were protesting against Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut near a venue where she is shooting for an upcoming film in Madhya Pradesh's Betul, were on Friday evening allegedly caned by police for trying to reach the shooting site. The police has sprayed water on the protestors to disperse them.
Earlier in the day, Madhya Pradesh Police had deployed heavy security in Sarni area after some local Congress leaders like Manoj Arya and Nekram Yadav had two days ago submitted a memorandum to a tehsildar in Betul and threatened that they would not allow Ranaut to shoot if she did not apologize, by Friday evening, over her tweets against the farmers protesting at Delhi borders.
Over 100 protesters gathered near gate numbers 2 and 4 of the coal handling plant of a power station, near where the shooting of the film 'Dhaakad' underway. Protesters were dispersed by using water jets from fire brigade vehicles, said Sarni City Superintendent of Police Abhay Ram Choudhary. "Security has been tightened for the actress after MP Home Minister Narottam Mishra directed Betul Superintendent of Police Simala Prasad to do so," he said.
To express their anger against police for using force on them, Congress leaders sat on dharna at the same coal handling plant. However, Choudhary denied local Congress unit’s allegation that batons were used against protesters, including women.
Ranaut, who was scheduled to appear late in the evening, was not present when the protesters gathered at the spot.
On Thursday, Home Minister Narottam Mishra had said he had asked police to ensure that the shooting was not disrupted. Police personnel carrying batons and even firearms were deployed around the site, while an inspector was assigned to oversee Ranaut’s safety at a resort 45 km away where she is staying, the official said, adding Ranaut’s shoot is to end on February 17.
Twitter had deleted some of Ranaut’s controversial tweets on the ongoing protests.
On Thursday, home minister Mishra had said the BJP government in the state will ensure that “behan-beti” (sister-daughter) Kangana” faced no problem while shooting.
(with inputs from PTI)