Bollywood actress and politician Hema Malini found herself under severe attack on Friday, when she posted merry pictures of herself at an ongoing film shoot on the Madh islands near Mumbai, even as her parliamentary constituency, Mathura, was experiencing violent clashes that had left 22 people, including two high-ranking policemen dead, and a number of others injured.
Soon after the actress tweeted about the shoot, it was picked up by various news outlets and agencies.
BJP MP (Mathura) Hema Malini uploads shoot pictures on her Twitter even as death toll from Mathura incident rises. pic.twitter.com/CCilzxReCZ‚ÄĒ ANI (@ANI_news) June 3, 2016
Although the actress-politician soon deleted her tweets, she came under flak from various quarters for her ‚Äėindifference‚Äô to the situation in Mathura.
Maybe Hema Malini would have gone running, leaving her film shoot,if Kent company was on fire!‚ÄĒ Vinita Deshmukh (@VinitaDeshmukh) June 3, 2016
Yes, but only after fortifying herself with Patanjali's digestive biscuits, personally blessed by "poojya Baba ji" https://t.co/FgIpEieA3j‚ÄĒ Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) June 3, 2016
However, many also rallied on the Mathura MP‚Äôs side, arguing that targeting her was a way of excusing the Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav of his responsibility for the event.
Instead of questioning Akhilesh Yadav over repeated failure of law & order in UP, some people outraging about @dreamgirlhema's tweet!!‚ÄĒ Priti Gandhi (@MrsGandhi) June 3, 2016
Meanwhile, Hema Malini herself soon changed the tone of her tweets to more sombre reactions to the violence in Mathura.
I just came bk frm Mathura & got the news of the violence tht has taken place there in which policemen have lost their lives.‚ÄĒ Hema Malini (@dreamgirlhema) June 3, 2016
She added that she would go back to Mathura if required and appealed to the people to stay calm.
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‚ÄĒ Hema Malini (@dreamgirlhema) June 3, 2016
I fervently appeal to the people of Mathura to remain calm & not get misguided by violent elements‚ÄĒ Hema Malini (@dreamgirlhema) June 3, 2016
Further, she also tweeted that unlike attempts to paint her as apathetic, ‚ÄúI am a very sensitive person.‚ÄĚ
I am a very sensitive person.I am deeply pained on the Mathura incident but Law & Order of U.P is the core issue. Let's not divert.‚ÄĒ Hema Malini (@dreamgirlhema) June 3, 2016
Responding to the criticism, the BJP stood by its Mathura MP, with spokesperson Sambit Patra declaring that her "tweets are OK", and added that "we should not divert from main issue.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúFirst and foremost, the moment Hema ji came to know of it, we have all seen, that she has taken up the matter in a very sensitive manner. She has expressed deep concern and is considering going there. She will soon reach Mathura,‚ÄĚ Patra is reported to have said at a media briefing. He also said that the actor will visit Mathura soon.
Violence ensued in Mathura late Thursday evening due to a clash between the police and encroachers allegedly belonging to an outfit called Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi.
According to reports, the police were trying to evict illegal occupants from Jawahar Park as mandated by the Allahabad High Court. The incident has reportedly claimed 22 lives including an SP and SHO. About 200 people have been held for questioning in relation to the mishap.