Actor and BJP leader Mithun Chakraborty was questioned by the police in Bengal today in a controversy over one of his speeches during the Bengal election campaign.
The 71-year-old actor, who was among the BJP's star campaigners in the April-May election, was questioned virtually by the Kolkata Police in connection with a case filed against him over a speech he made on March 7 after joining the party. A First Information Report (FIR) alleges that the speech played a role in inciting post-poll violence in Bengal after the May 2 verdict that gave Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress a landslide victory.
Mithun Chakraborty had gone to the Calcutta High Court to get the FIR cancelled. The court had then directed an investigation officer to question the actor virtually.
The actor has pleaded that he had only recited film dialogues in his speech and these were not meant to be literal.
The police case involves a line from his 2006 film "MLA Fatakeshto": "Marbo ekhaney...lash porbay shoshaney ('i will thrash you here. Your body will be found at the crematorium."
In the speech that was wildly cheered, he had also recited these lines: "Ami joldhorao noi, bele borao noi... ami ekta cobra, ek chobol-ei chhobi (Don't mistake me for a harmless snake, I am a pure cobra, one strike and you become a photograph."
After the election results, there were clashes involving Trinamool and BJP workers in several parts of Bengal.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said last month that at least 16 people lost their lives in the violence.