Bollywood actress and politician Hema Malini, who found herself under severe attack on Friday after she posted few pictures of herself from an ongoing film shoot when her Parliamentary constituency Mathura was hit by violence, later attempted to deflect her blame by hitting out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
"Within 24 hours, I reached Mathura, but where is Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav?" actor-turned politician Hema Malini said.
"The state government should have taken proper action to eradicate this encroachment. It was only after high Court order, government tried to bring the situation under control. However, there were severe lapses on the part of administration and intelligence network in handling Mathura incident. The administration was aware of 3000 people with weapons there, but could not handle them" the BJP MP from Mathura told media.
On Friday, the BJP MP had to face staunch criticism for posting pictures of her movie shoot when her Parliamentary constituency Mathura was hit by violence, yesterday evening. However, soon after, she was trolled on Twitter for sharing the images in the wake of the clashes, she deleted her tweets and said she was unaware of the happenings as she was busy with her shooting.
"So upset by the news from a place which is so dear to me, Will go there again if my presence is required. My heart goes out to the bereaved (sic),'' she tweeted.
Malini also sent out her ''heartfelt condolences' to families of police officers 'who laid down their lives in the line of duty.'
The actress also appealed to the people of the district to 'remain calm' and not get 'misguided by violent elements'.
The BJP said Malini is 'extremely sensitive' to the situation and will reach Mathura soon but insisted that the issue should not be used as a 'diversion' as law and order is the state government’s responsibility and not that of the local MP.
The BJP came out in defence of its MP saying 'she has already expressed grief over the incident.' “I am sure Hema Malini ji will go to Mathura, she has expressed her grief over what has happened. Let's not divert from the issue,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told media.
On Thursday, a mob went on rampage after police took action against them for encroaching upon a major part of a government land. The situation got out of control after the Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena (SBSS) activists opened fire at the police party that attempted to evict the Jawahar Park.
By Friday evening, the toll in the Mathura violence had gone up to 24. Those killed include Mathura Superintendent of Police (City) Mukul Dwivedi, Farah Police Station SHO Santosh Yadav and 20 protesters. Among the dead were superintendent of police, Mukul Dwivedi, and Farah station house officer, Santosh Yadav. More than 40 people were left injured in the incident.
While 250 people have been detained for their involvement in the incident, the city continues to be tense even as heavy police reinforcements have been deployed in the violence-hit region.