Kolkata: Bollywood actor and BJP leader Paresh Rawal heaved a sigh of relief on Monday after a single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court dismissed the FIR filed against him for his anti-Bengali comments.
With the FIR being dismissed, the city police will not be able to carry out any further investigation against him in the matter and hence the petition in the court also stands dismissed.
The case was filed against Rawal by CPI(M) politburo member and party’s state secretary in West Bengal Md Salim at Taltala Police Station in Kolkata. He alleged that the comments made by the actor were meant to provoke riots and destroy the harmony between Bengalis and other communities across the country and cause public mischief.
“Gas cylinders are expensive but they 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 said while campaigning for BJP in Gujarat at that point of time.
While dismissing the FIR on Monday, Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha observed that the actor-turned-politician made that comment in Gujarati language and later also apologized for the same through a Twitter message.
“So, there can be questions about the seriousness of the FIR filed at Taltala Police station in Kolkata in the matter,” Justice Mantha said.
Then, he questioned Md Salim’s counsel whether there is any concrete reason to go ahead with the case in the matter. As the counsel said that he would like the decision on this count to be taken by the court, Justice Mantha dismissed the FIR and ordered that there will be no further investigation in the matter.
After his comments in December last year drew severe criticisms, the veteran actor tendered a public apology. “Of course, fish is not the issue as Gujaratis cook and eat fish. But, to be clear, I meant illegal Bangladeshis and Rohingyas. However, if I have offended your thoughts and views, I sincerely apologise,” he had tweeted then.