Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi and National Women's Commission chief Rekha Sharma crossed swords on Twitter today over a woman from Uttarakhand who alleged that she was forced to settle a sexual harassment complaint by the state police. At the heart of the dispute was the blazing political row that started with actor Kangana Ranaut's negative remarks about the Mumbai police, and Sena leader Sanjay Raut's slur for her that drew backlash on Sunday.
The trouble started when Priyanka Chaturvedi -- the Sena's deputy leader and Rajya Sabha MP -- had tagged a screenshot of a tweet about the Uttarakhand woman to Rekha Sharma.
The accompanying tweet read: "I urge NCW Chairperson @sharmarekha ji to intervene and take suo moto action to ensure the culprit in the below mentioned sexual harassment case is not spared from being punished if found guilty. The complainant alleges she is being forced to 'settle the matter'."
Ms Sharma reacted sharply, pointing out that the police have filed a case, "unlike many cases in Maharashtra where victims are struggling to get an FIR done".
The FIR is been done in this case unlike many cases in Maharashtra where victims are struggling to get an FIR done. Requesting @priyankac19 as Rajya Sabha Member pl help them to get FIR done and let police initiate an inquiry like they are doing in Uttrakhand. https://t.co/73aJIamQQP— Rekha Sharma (@sharmarekha) September 7, 2020
The broad hint about Kangana Ranaut, who had alleged that the Mumbai Police had refused to entertain her complaints about drug use by an alleged section in the Hindi film industry, drew a stinging response from Ms Chaturvedi.
As RS member it is my duty to make you aware&expect you to adhere to your responsibility to the chair¬ be driven by setting agenda.— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) September 7, 2020
The lady is being pressurised to 'settle the matter' despite an FIR,how does it not come under ur purview to ensure that. Stop this whataboutery https://t.co/XOYJnCyNsf
A second tweet from the MP had sharper questions on whether action is taken depending on "political bias".
Is suo moto action arbitrary depending on which side of the political bias?Response still awaited to a letter written to you by Yuvati Sena regarding a case of an elderly woman being harassed by BJYM leader in Chennai.BTW hope you took down the fake screenshot of ANI you tweeted? https://t.co/89SGBLe3Go— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) September 7, 2020
Rekha Sharma wrote back again, this time tagging Sena's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, whose slur about Kangana Ranaut at a television interview drew a fiery condemnation from the actor.
"Don't worry. The lady can always come to me directly and I too am taking care of it. My request is you being from Maharashtra can be helpful to many women who are going from pillar to post as the police is not listening. Will forward u few. 1 against @rautsanjay61 and not Kangana's," her tweet read.
Kangana Ranaut had alleged that the Mumbai police had refused to take Sushant Singh Rajput's fears that he might be killed seriously. The young, upcoming actor died in June, the Mumbai police had said it was a case of suicide. The matter is now being investigated by the CBI and two other central agencies.
Her subsequent comment comparing Mumbai to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. had drawn retaliation from the Shiv Sena, which rules Maharashtra in alliance with the Congress and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party . State Home Minister Anil Desmukh had said Ms Ranaut need not return to Mumbai if she did not feel safe. He also called her calling her a "dramabaaz" in the state assembly session.
On Monday, Ms Ranaut accused the city officials of "forcefully" taking over her office -- Manikarnika Films, a movie production house in west Mumbai --and said they will demolish it on Tuesday.
Posting a couple of videos, she tweeted that she has "all the papers (and) BMC permissions... nothing illegal (has been done) in my property. BMC should send a structure plan to show the illegal construction with a notice".
The 33-year-old, who is currently in Himachal Pradesh, will be provided Y-Plus security, sources said, under which she will be protected by a personal security officer and 11 armed policemen, including commandos. The allocation was made following a "renewed threat to the actor after she spoke about drug use among a section in the film industry following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput", sources said.