Mumbai: BJP MP Hema Malini, who has been facing staunch criticism for posting pictures of her movie shoot when her Parliamentary constituency Mathura was hit by violence, on Friday evening, said she was unaware of the happenings as she was busy in her shooting.
“I am going to Mathura now. I did not know at that time (yesterday) at all. All these things happened in the afternoon or by evening, while my shooting is in the morning at 8 am. Don’t blame me for that,” Malini told the media here.
She said being an artiste, she had given appointment for shooting for six days, which she had done. “People are saying that there was an encroachment from over two years. But as per my knowledge, it is only for the last two months that the agitaters encroached that place. I was asking the DM how did it happen,” Malini said.
The renowned actress also said the incident could have been avoided had the Uttar Pradesh Government provided extra force to control the agitators, which the administration had been asking for the last two months. “The incident could have been avoided. The administration was asking for extra power to control the agitators, but the UP Government did not provide them with the authority to go ahead. I was on a shoot, thus was unaware of the incident. I tweeted just like that. How would I know that the incident was going to happen? My people in Mathura told me that the situation is under control, and there is no need for me to go there,” she added.
She also called on the Akhilesh Yadav-led Government to take care of the law and order properly which, according to her, had not been able to do at least in this case. Malini in a series of tweets, earlier in the day, had shared the location of the shoot of her upcoming flick and her pleasant boat ride.
“I was pleasantly surprised to see a vast change ths time thks to Shri Gopal Shetty. The pathways leading to the boat in Versova are smooth (sic),” Malini tweeted. “The journey to Madh Island used to be tedious those days. It used to be a 2 hr journey by road or by ferry the approach to which was horrible,” she said.
“Shooting at Madh island for Ek Thi Rani-a film based on the life of HH Vijaya Raje Scindia revived after many years.I play the title role,” she tweeted. “Hoping for an early release of this film,” she said. Realising that she had committed a blunder, Malini, however, soon withdrew her tweet and expressed grief over the loss of lives.
“I just came bk frm Mathura & got the news of the violence tht has taken place there in which policemen have lost their lives,” Malini tweeted. “So so upset by ths news frm a place which is so dear to me Will go there again if my presence is required. My heart goes out to the bereaved,” she said.
Meanwhile, the death toll in yesterday’s Mathura clash has risen to 24. Those killed include Mathura Superintendent of Police (City) Mukul Dwivedi, Farah Police Station SHO Santosh Yadav and 20 protesters. More than 40 people have been injured in the incident. The incident took place when the Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena (SBSS) activists opened fire at the police party that attempted to evict the Jawahar Park late last evening.