Independent MP Navneet Rana and her husband MLA Ravi Rana were arrested on Saturday after they called for the chanting of Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's private residence 'Matoshree' in Mumbai, which had triggered angry protests by Shiv Sainiks. A case was registered against them and they are sent to 14-days of judicial custody. Navneet Rana has been sent to the Byculla women's jail, while her husband is lodged in the Arthur Road jail. As the news spread, many have been wondering who is Navneet Rana.
Navneet Rana's film career
Navneet, 36, is an actress popularly known as Navneet Kaur. She has done multiple films in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. She started off in the showbiz from a young age as a model and began her acting career by doing music videos. Navneet's father was an army officer and her family has been living in Mumbai. Kaur made her film debut with Kannada film Darshan. She went on to act in movies like Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmi (2004), Chetna (2005), Jagapathi (2005), Good Boy (2005), and Bhuma (2008) among others. She also starred in Telugu film Jabilamma which was the remake of Hindi film Chameli starring Kareena Kapoor. She has also shared screen with names like Mammootty, Jr NTR and Nandamuri Balakrishna among other popular names. she also acted in Hindi film Chetna, but it did not fare well at the ticket window.
How did Navneet Kaur become Navneet Rana?
While she was making her name in the films down south, Navneet decided to go on a short hiatus from her film career. Later, on 3 February 2011, she married Ravi Rana, an independent MLA from Badnera constituency in Amravati city, and thus began her political career.
Navneet Rana's political career
After tying the knot with Ravi Rana she began her career as a politician in Lok Sabha Election 2014 from Nationalist Congress Party, however, lost the election.
Later, in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, she was elected as an MP from Amravati, Maharashtra constituency as an Independent candidate, with the support of the Indian National Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. She had defeated Anandrao Adsul of Shiv Sena.
The Ranas vs Shiv Sena and the Hanuman Chalisa Row
Hanuman Chalisa row is not the first time that Navneet and her husband have been involved in a tussle with Shiv Sena. On various levels (i.e. local, regional and national; in public or, in various institutions like Lok Sabha) she has been involved in altercations with Shiv Sena and its party members.
This time, in two days of high-voltage drama in which they threatened to march to the private residence of the Chief Minister and chant 'Hanuman Chalisa', a case was registered against Ranas under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, and sections 37(1) and 135 of the Bombay Police Act.
Later, the police also added IPC Section 124-A (sedition) in the case against them.
Under IPC Section 124-A, the offence of sedition is committed when any person by words or otherwise brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law.
The police had also registered another FIR against Ranas for allegedly obstructing police from performing their duty and resisting arrest at their residence in suburban Khar.
Both of them were on Sunday produced before a court in Bandra which sent them to judicial custody for 14 days.