Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has no right to stay in Mumbai if she feels unsafe, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Friday after the movie star triggered outrage for saying the city "felt like Pakistan-occupied Kashmir" and compared the ruling coalition to "Taliban".
"We have seen how the Mumbai Police sacrificed their lives during the coronavirus pandemic. It's not right for an actor to say such things about our police, we condemn it. Mumbai and Maharashtra are secured by the police. If anyone feels unsafe about living in Mumbai or Maharashtra, they don't have the right to live here," Mr Deshmukh said.
His response came shortly after the 33-year-old Ms Ranaut, currently living in Himachal Pradesh, reiterated her comments against the Maharashtra government and the ruling Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress coalition.
"I see many people are threatening me to not come back to Mumbai so I have now decided to travel to Mumbai this coming week on 9th September, I will post the time when I land at the Mumbai airport, kisi ke baap mein himmat hai toh rok le (Stop me if you dare)," she tweeted.
Responding to Mr Deshmukh's comment, she said, "He is taking his own calls on my democratic rights, from POK to Taliban in one day."
Earlier, Ms Ranaut had said, "Sanjay Raut Shiv Sena leader has given me an open threat and asked me not to come back to Mumbai, after Aazadi graffitis in Mumbai streets and now open threats, why Mumbai is feeling like Pakistan occupied Kashmir?"
Targeting the police as well, she tweeted, "After a major star has been killed I spoke about drug and movie mafia racket, I don't trust @MumbaiPolice cos they ignored SSR's complaints, he told everyone they will kill him yet he was killed, if I feel unsafe,does that mean I hate the industry and Mumbai?"
Her outburst came after Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut wrote in the party mouthpiece Saamana, "We kindly request her not to come to Mumbai. This is nothing but an insult to Mumbai Police. The Home Ministry should take action over it."
Backing up the comments on Friday, he said, "I will not take names. But I don't give hollow threats. I believe in action as I am a Shiv sainik. The state health department and the home department should deal with mental cases which are on the rise. Take action as per law."
A vocal supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, which is in opposition in Maharashtra, Kangana Ranaut has been attacking the government and the police for weeks over the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June.
The police had said it was a suicide and was investigating depression and industry rivalries as probable causes before the probe was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) based on a complaint filed by Sushant Singh's father against his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, also an actor.
Parallel investigations into the case have also been launched by separate agencies into charges of money laundering and drug use that has seen Ms Ranaut take an outspoken stance against several leading names in Bollywood.
Her latest comments about Pakistan-occupied Kashmir incensed several celebrities and prominent public figures who took to Twitter to express their disapproval. The BJP too distanced itself from then comment, with party leader Ashish Shelar saying, "Kangana should not try to teach Mumbai, Mumbaikars and Maharashtra. Sanjay Raut should not attack us through Kangana Ranaut. BJP has nothing to do with Kangana."