‘Fishing’ in troubled waters: Actor-politician Paresh Rawal summoned by Kolkata Police

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By: Joymala Bagchi
Updated: 07 December, 2022 11:24 am IST

The Kolkata police summoned actor politician Paresh Rawal at Taltala police station on December 12 for questioning. CPI(M) West Bengal State Secretary Md Salim lodged a police complaint against Rawal for his comment “cook fish for Bengalis” during Gujarat elections.

Speaking to The New Indian Mohd Salim said, “Such statements are provocative to riots and destroy the harmony between Bengali community and other communities across the country”.

He further stated words similar to the complaints made, “large numbers of Bengalis reside outside the limits of the State. I apprehend that many of them will be prejudicially targeted and affected because of the vicious remarks made by Paresh Rawal.”

Case was registered against actor politician Paresh Rawal on account of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony. Relevant sections under IPC are 153,153A, 153B, 504 and 505.

Paresh Rawal had made this controversial remark during a campaign in Gujarat. “Gas cylinders are expensive, but their price will come down. People will get employment too. But what will happen if Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshis start living around you, like in Delhi? What will you do with gas cylinders? Cook fish for the Bengalis?” the actor had stated according to a news agency. After an uproar over his remark, Paresh Rawal had tweeted an apology and said that by “Bengalis” he meant illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Clarifying his comments, Rawal said, “of course the fish is not the issue. As Gujaratis do cook and eat fish. But let me clarify, by Bengali I meant illegal Bangladeshi and Rohingyas. But still if I have your feelings and sentiments I apologize.”

Rawal’s summons were issued on the same day the Gujarat police arrested TMC’s national spokesperson Saket Gokhale, which the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government has dubbed as “political vendetta”.

Trinamool Congress will raise the issue of misuse of central agencies in the Parliament during the ongoing Winter Session.

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