Kangana Ranaut airport incident: Farmer outfits come out in support of CISF woman constable

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Chandigarh, Jun 7 (PTI) Some farmer outfits on Friday threw their weight behind the CISF woman constable who allegedly slapped actor and BJP MP-elect Kangana Ranaut, saying the entire sequence leading to the incident needs to be properly investigated.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha were among the prominent outfits which said they stand in support of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) constable.

The Mohali Police has booked Constable Kulwinder Kaur under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), both are bailable offences.

No arrest has been made yet, they said and added that the FIR in case was registered on a complaint from the CISF.

Ranaut, in a video message, had on Thursday said she was hit in the face and abused by the constable during security check at the Chandigarh airport, the ugly fracas breaking out two days after she was elected to the Lok Sabha from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh.

The constable, who appeared to be upset with Ranaut over her stance on the farmers' protests, has been suspended and an investigation has been launched. The CISF, tasked with providing security at airports, had also ordered a court of inquiry into the incident.

SKM (Non-Political) leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher met Punjab's Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav in the afternoon for a proper investigation into the matter.

"The main issue which we raised is that there should be no injustice to the constable. We have been assured that investigations are being held in an impartial manner," Dallewal said after the meeting.

Mohali Police SHO (Airport) Inspector Periwinkle Grewal said the matter is under investigation.

In a meeting, CISF officials gave those from the Mohali police information regarding the incident, another police official told reporters. He added that footage from CCTV cameras are being scanned and after that the next course of action will be taken.

Earlier in the day, while addressing a press conference here with Pandher and some other farmer leaders, Dallewal said, "We will demand a proper investigation and we will tell him that there should be no injustice with the woman constable." On June 9 in Mohali, an "Insaaf march" to Mohali the senior superintendent of police's office will be taken out "to demand that no injustice be done in this case with the constable", he said. In a video statement titled "Shocking rise in terror and violence in Punjab" posted on X after she landed in Delhi after the incident on Thursday, Ranaut said she was safe and fine.

The constable, Ranaut had said, came towards her from the side. "She hit me in the face and started abusing me. I asked her why she did it and she said she supports the farmer protests." "I am safe but my concern is that terrorism and extremism are increasing in Punjab... How do we handle that?", Ranaut had said.

Another video doing the rounds of social media had shown the agitated constable talking to people presumably after the incident.

"Kangana made a statement (earlier) that farmers were protesting in Delhi because they were paid Rs 100 or Rs 200. At the time, my mother was one of the protesters," she said in the purported video.

Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar termed the incident as "most unfortunate" and said any form of violence as a means of expressing dissent was unacceptable and demands condemnation.

"What is even more concerning is that a person wearing a security uniform indulged in such an unlawful violent act," he said.

The brother of the constable, who is based in Kapurthala, on Thursday said they learnt about the incident through the media. He had said his sister has been in service for the past 15 years and had served at many places including Kerala, Chennai and Amritsar.

Dallewal and Pandher said the constable's brother was active in farmer movements and was part of their organisation.

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher alleged that Ranaut had hurt sentiments with her comments against farmers, elderly women and Punjabis in the past.

Both Dallewal and Pandher lashed out at the actor for stating that terrorism was increasing in Punjab.

Dallewal said from various reports what they have come to know is that there was some argument from Ranaut's side during security check when her purse and mobile-phone was being put for checking.

If this is so, then the constable is not to be blamed, she was doing her duty, he said.

"And everyone knows the previous track record of Ranaut and the kind of language she has used towards farmers. There must have been an argument and the result of which must have led to the incident. All these things need proper investigation," he said.

Taking on Ranaut over her "terrorism" and "extremism" remark, Dallewal said, "In Punjab, communities of all faiths are peacefully co-existing. We demand that a case should be filed and courts should take suo motu cognisance of the wordings used by the BJP MP." "Ranaut is an actor and now even a MP, she should not speak such language. This is condemnable. We demand that action be taken against her," he said.

The two farmer leaders claimed that people including farmers have taught BJP a lesson in the recently held Lok Sabha polls.

"From rural areas, 73 of their candidates lost this time," he claimed.

In Haryana, they could win only five seats, in Uttar Pradesh, they had to face heavy defeat while they also lost heavily in Rajasthan. During farmers agitation, they used tear gas, bullets and people of the country have expressed their anger through the ballot, Dallewal claimed. PTI SUN VSD ANB ANB ANB