By Arré Bench Jun. 09, 2020
Sonu Sood has emerged as somewhat of a saviour for several migrant workers. But according to a Mumbai Police official, the actor was recently stopped by the Railway Protection Force from meeting migrants at Bandra Terminus. Sood, however, underplayed the incident.
The one Bollywood personality who has emerged as a real-life hero over the last two months of the Covid-19 lockdown, is actor Sonu Sood. He has proven to be a saviour for several migrant workers and their families, and put in enormous energy and resources into helping them reach their home states. Between arranging buses, train tickets and planes to ferry them home and setting up a helpline to ensure the process is faster and easier, Sood’s dedication has rightfully earned him several praises from all quarters.
But on Monday night, June 8, the actor was stopped from meeting the migrants at Bandra Terminus. According to a Mumbai Police official, the actor had come to meet a few labourers who were to board the Shramik Special train from the terminus to Uttar Pradesh. However, he was stopped by the Railway Protection Force. Shashikant Bhandare, senior inspector at Nirmal Nagar police station, confirmed the incident, adding, “We have not received any complaint regarding this till now.”
“A Mumbai Police official said the actor was stopped by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) when he reached the station on Monday night to meet some labourers…”
Railway minister Piyush Goyal doesn’t want labourers to go home? https://t.co/JXKA9N3CuK
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) June 9, 2020
However, earlier today Sood refuted these claims in his tweet stating that no such incident occurred. “I absolutely respect the protocols and have duly followed it,” he wrote.
Just to set the record straight – I was not stopped from entering the station. I absolutely respect the protocols and have duly followed it.
I had requested the state government for the train so that I could send the migrants back home to reunite them with their families.
— sonu sood (@SonuSood) June 9, 2020
The actor also went on to thank Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, along with Aditya Thackeray and MLA Aslam Shaikh, in a follow-up tweet, expressing his gratitude for helping him “bring a smile on the faces of all migrants!”
As there were almost two thousand people. I am extremely thankful to the state govt, Hon. CM Uddhav Thackeray ji @CMOMaharashtra @AUThackeray @AslamShaikh_MLA for helping me bring a smile on the faces of all migrants! Jai Hind 🇮🇳
— sonu sood (@SonuSood) June 9, 2020
It was only a few days ago that Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, editor of the party’s mouthpiece Saamna, had criticised Sood and his humanitarian act in his weekly column, lamenting his work as a political move backed by the BJP.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) June 7, 2020
In his column, Raut questioned the sudden rise of “Mahatma” Sood, stating that it was a deliberate attempt to taint the image of the Maharashtra ruling government amid the lockdown. He also mentioned that during a “sting operation” against the actor, prior to the 2019 General Election, Sood had endorsed the BJP-led government, willingly promoting the party on his social platforms in exchange for money.
Ironically, the very same day as the column was released, Uddhav Thackeray lauded Sood’s initiative to help the stranded migrants and acknowledged his hard work. Later that night, the actor also went on to visit the CM at the latter’s residence.
Was a pleasure. Thank you for all the support offered to help my migrant brothers reunite with their families. https://t.co/nNpAcPYwOI
— sonu sood (@SonuSood) June 7, 2020
Needless to say, Raut’s claims backfired and were received well neither by Sood’s admirers, nor Raut’s readers.
Even if there is a political motive, He is a Hero, for all the good work he has done. THERE ARE 100s OF POLITICIANS IN THIS COUNTRY, WHO ARE SITTING IDLE WITHOUT HELPING PEOPLE IN THIS CRISIS PERIOD. https://t.co/63jlyIhsLM
— Vamsi Kaka (@vamsikaka) June 7, 2020
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis too did not hesitate to take a dig at the opposition for politicising the actor’s relief work. He went on to say that while he is happy that Shiv Sena chooses to associate with those who perform good deeds with BJP, “but Sonu Sood should be appreciated for his selfless work.”
Following Sood’s statement to clear the air, netizens are wondering if the actor is being pressured by the government after the whole fiasco in the past two days.
Bhai we understand u have pressure from government…
# kaam sonu ka naam shivsena ka#
— @bhi (@Abhinay23833727) June 9, 2020
While some others have pointed at the party’s double standards.
— Satish Acharya (@satishacharya) June 9, 2020
Although the game of politics continues to remain unclear, Sood’s one-man initiative continues to thrive.
Thank you for not stopping your support. We all know it what would have been happened behind the scene. Unfortunately one can’t do anything without involving Politicians. Even more respect for you, salute!!
— Jitendra Srivastava (@meet_jitu) June 9, 2020