Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui had to pull out of a Ramleela programme in his native village of Budhana, Muzzafarnagar, after members of the Shiv Sena raised objection, media reported.
After the Ramleela committee of his village convinced him to play the role of ‘ Maricha’, a deer who lures Rama into the jungle to enable Ravana to abduct Sita, he had started practice for the show but had to step back.
“Protesters showed their displeasure on Siddiqui’s participation in the show, and the programme was cancelled over opposition by activists,” SP (rural) Rakesh Jolly reportedly said. ABP news has claimed that protesters in question were from the Shiv Sena.
The protests have come in the wake of dowry allegations on Nawazuddin Siddiqui by his sister-in-law Afrin. The local unit of the Shiv Sena protested saying that the actor is allegedly involved for beating his younger brother’s wife and therefore, shouldn’t be allowed to take part in Ramleela, the party said to ABP news.
However, the actor, popular for his critically-acclaimed and powerful performances in many Hindi blockbusters, has not lost hope and promised his fans that he will return next year.
My childhood dream could not come true, but will definitely be a part of Ramleela next year.
Check the rehearsals. pic.twitter.com/euOYSgsm3F
— Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@Nawazuddin_S) October 6, 2016
Since the allegations came to light, Siddiqui has denied them, claiming these to be a publicity stunt by his sister-in-law and uncle. At a press conference in New Delhi, Siddiqui said: “I’m falsely charged by my sister-in-law because I’m a soft target for her and she could have easily made the news out of me. I’m an actor so, that could also be a reason for her allegations. Had it happened with a common man, it would not have made the headlines on television and newspapers.”
Nawazuddin did not comment on the people who were against his appearance on the stage, saying he had to cancel his appearance to “maintain peace” in the village, The New Indian Express said in a report.