Actor Kangana Ranaut visited her partially-demolished office building in Mumba’s Pali Hills area this evening, shortly after the Bombay High Court adjourned a hearing – till September 22 – over its demolition by civic officials.
In visuals shared by news agency ANI, Ms Ranaut, 33, can be seen getting out of a car and inspecting various rooms in the building. The images also show what appear to be wrecked furniture and damaged walls. There are also piles of granite and stones scattered around the room.
In the photos, the “Queen” actor also does not appear to be wearing a face mask – which has been mandatory by the centre for all individuals when outside their homes during the Covid lockdown.
Maharashtra is the worst-affected state with nearly 9.7 lakh cases. Ms Ranaut, who flew in from her native Himachal Pradesh yesterday, has tested negative for the coronavirus.
The actor was seen accompanied by aides and armed guards; the Union Home Ministry has given Ms Ranaut Y-Plus-level protection from the CRPF.
Earlier today the Bombay High Court adjourned hearing of the petition against the demolition of the office. In what was seen as a big win for Ms Ranaut, the court will now hear the case September 22.
The demolition of the building, which the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) claims contains illegal constructions, began yesterday. The court stopped the demolition after Ms Ranaut filed her petition.
The demolition, the court observed, was happening “when she is out of state, directing her to respond within 24 hours, and not granting her any further time, despite written request…”.
The actor has said she has the permissions for her constructions. She has also hit out at Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena – which controls the BMC – for ordering the demolition as revenge for her comments.
Ms Ranaut is in the middle of a heated political row with the Sena after comments about the Sushant Singh Rajput case that compared Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The Sena hit back with senior leader Sanjay Raut responding with a slur – for which he refused to apologise – and another suggesting Ms Ranaut be slapped and face a sedition case.
Earlier this week Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took a swipe of his own at Ms Ranaut, albeit without naming the actor. Some people don’t have gratitude for the city where they earn their livelihood, the Chief Minister said.
Ms Ranaut also faces two police complaints accusing her of using foul language against Mr Thackeray and trying “to diminish the character and challenge the dignity” of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
With input from ANI