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Man who says he saw Aditya Pancholi punch Kangana urges her to take a stand

IT professional and social worker Gurupreet Anand recalls the decade-old incident.

Mayur Lookhar

All along it was the Ranaut sisters versus the Pancholis. Then Kamal Rashid Khan poked his nose in, provoking Kangana’s sister Rangoli Chandel to spark a Twitter war.

Now a Sikh man has jumped into the fray, reminding everyone of a decade-ago incident that saw Aditya Pancholi punch Kangana Ranaut in a public place.

The incident was covered by a Mumbai tabloid then, but it has come to the fore once again after Pancholi threatened to sue Ranaut over her comments against him in an interview to India TV.

Recalling the incident, Gurupreet Anand, an information technology (IT) professional and social worker, said, “This happened some 10 years back. It was reported by Mid-day then. It happened in Kapaswadi, Juhu, area. I saw a woman inside an auto screaming at the driver to speed up. Soon a white car blocked the auto. Out stepped a man who pulled her hair and punched her. I intervened and asked him to let the woman go. The man said it is a family matter and I should stay out. I held his collar and before things could get ugly he backed out seeing other onlookers come around. Later on, we came to know that the man was Aditya Pancholi and the woman was Kangana Ranaut.”

So why is Gurupreet Anand coming out with his version of the incident after 10 years? Is he pursuing publicity?

“It doesn’t matter whether a crime happened now or 10 years ago," he replied. "Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh committed the crimes [rape] in 2002, and justice was served only now. I am of the view that if Kangana Ranaut speaks about women's empowerment, feminism, and if she is really serious about the welfare of women, then she should file a complaint against Pancholi. My friend and I were witness to this incident. I can understand that maybe she was a young girl then trying to build her career. But today she is a star."

While Anand is ready to back Ranaut, he hopes the actress isn't raking up the old issue for the publicity of her forthcoming film Simran.

“I have heard that her film is being released this week," he said. "It would be unfortunate if she was talking about old issues to gain publicity for her film."

The long-time Mumbai resident said he would be writing an 'open' letter to Ranaut urging her to file a complaint against Pancholi.

So far there has been no response from Ranaut. It will be interesting to see if the actress decides to complain against Pancholi, now that a witness says he is ready to depose.