TikTok star and Haryana BJP leader Sonali Phogat found herself in a controversy after a video surfaced showing her beating up a Hisar Market Committee official with her slipper for reportedly making derogatory remarks against her.
The video of her thrashing Sultan Singh with the slipper during a visit to the Balsamand Mandi, 25 km from the district headquarters, has gone viral with police personnel present at the scene remaining mute spectators.
In the video, Phogat could be seen hitting Sultan repeatedly with the slipper, while saying: "You have no right to live."
After thrashing him, she was heard asking the police to register a complaint against him.
Phogat and others present with her are not seen wearing masks in the video, even as the Haryana government has made it mandatory to wear masks in public in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
Phogat had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 assembly elections from the Mandi Adampur and lost to Congress candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal.
Confirming the incident, Superintendent of Police in Hisar, Ganga Ram Punia, said the police received a complaint from Sultan Singh and appropriate action would be initiated against Phogat.
Congress national spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: "The market committee secretary was thrashed like an animal."
खट्टर सरकार के नेताओं के घटिया कारनामे!
मार्किट कमेटी सचिव को जानवरों की तरह पीट रही हैं आदमपुर, हिसार की भाजपा नेत्री।
क्या सरकारी नौकरी करना अब अपराध है?
क्या खट्टर साहेब कार्यवाही करेंगे?
क्या मीडिया अब भी चुप रहेगा? pic.twitter.com/2K1aHbFo5l— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) June 5, 2020
"These acts (have been) done by a BJP leader. Is it a crime to do a government job? Will (Chief Minister Manohar Lal) Khattar take action against Phogat? Will the media still remain silent?" he added.
Phogat, however, said she had gone to meet the officials of the district Market Committee on Friday pertaining to some grievance of farmers. She said an official was showing her the place in the Balsamand area of Hisar district where a shed could come up for the convenience of farmers when he started passing indecent and derogatory remarks against her.
Phogat claimed the official also made some comments against another woman official of the Market Committee and a woman minister in the Manohar Lal Khattar-led cabinet.
"When he was showing me the place where the shed was to come up, he first made a mention of the community to which I belong. He also talked about another woman official and a woman minister who also come from the same community as mine," she said, adding the official then made "indecent and derogatory remarks" against her.
Asked why she decided to take law into her hands, Phogat hit back, "What right does he (official) have to talk to a woman like this? If he would not be taught a lesson, he will not let any woman come out tomorrow."
(With inputs from agencies)