Actor Prakash Raj, an outspoken critic of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its right-wing affiliates, was forced to leave Mellahalli village in Karnataka after some people objected to his presence at the funeral of a trooper killed in last week’s Pulwama terrorist attack.
Prakash Raj had travelled to Mellahalli to attend the funeral of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper Guru, who was among those killed in the suicide bombing in Pulwama district of Jammu & Kashmir on 14 February.
The actor was making a speech at the nearby KM Doddi area appealing to the people to keep the peace, leave personal differences aside, and stand behind the country’s leadership in this trying hour.
“Let us not be divided at this painful time,” Prakash Raj said. “If any enemies come to attack us, it is the responsibility of the citizenry to forget all differences and be together, to think as one and stand together and support our leaders.”
At this point, a section of the crowd began to heckle him. “Don’t speak about it only when an incident happens, speak about it every day,” one man called out.
The actor tried to remind his hecklers that he speaks on farmers’ issues every day, but he wasn’t allowed to continue as the troublemakers in the crowd started shouting slogans and surged towards the dais. One of them snatched the microphone from Prakash Raj’s hands while others tried to manhandle him. Police and the actor’s minders later escorted him out of the melee safely.
Watch the incident in the two videos below.