An alleged assault on Kangana Ranaut, where the actor-politician who has been elected MP from Mandi claimed that she was slapped by a CISF woman constable on Chandigarh airport, has sparked a national debate.

CISF woman constable Kulwinder Kaur, who joined the police probe after an FIR was registered against her, had earlier claimed that she was angry at Ranaut’s statement on women joining the farmers’ protest at borders of Delhi during the agitation against the now repealed agri laws. As farmer bodies came out in Kaur’s support, Ranaut Saturday said, “Remember if you are OK with breaking into someone’s intimate zone without their permission, touching their bodies, and assaulting them, then deep down you are OK with rape or murder also”.

Ranaut found support from cinema veteran Shabana Azmi, who said though she has “no love lost” for Queen actor, “But I can’t find myself joining this chorus of celebrating ‘the slap’. If security personnel start taking law into their hands, none of us can be safe”.

This is not the first time that a politician has been assaulted by a member of the public. Politicians have been slapped, had shoes, oil, ink, and eggs thrown at them. From Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to Nationalist Congress Party (SP) chief Sharad Pawar and from five-time Punjab CM and late Akali patriarch Parkash Singh Badal to former telecom minister Sukh Ram, the list of politicians who had to face public anger in the form of physical assault is long.

On May 18, two men — Daksh and Annu Chaudhary — slapped Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar and threw ink at himover what they believed was “anti-national slogans” raised by the latter at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 2016.

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Delhi CM Kejriwal was slapped twice in a span of four days in Delhi in April 2014 while campaigning for Lok Sabha elections.

In the first incident one Abdul Wahid slapped Kejriwal. Wahid had attributed his act to feeling cheated by Kejriwal who had “promised to protest Muzaffarabad riots”. In the second incident, one Lali, an auto-rickshaw driver, garlanded Kejriwal during a roadshow then slapped him. The assault left Kejriwal with a swollen eye. Lali was reportedly upset over Kejriwal resigning as Delhi CM. Kejriwal had resigned after failing to get Jan Lokpal Bill passed in the absence of required numbers, 49 days after taking over as CM of the minority government in Delhi. Earlier, in March that year, he was attacked during a rally in Haryana by a man who claimed to be a supporter of Anna Hazare. In February that year in Varanasi, ink was thrown at him and other party leaders.

In 2019, one Suresh Chauhan Gadiyalohar slapped Kejriwal in Delhi while he was campaigning for Lok Sabha polls. Suresh was allegedly “unhappy with the promises made by politicians, which were never delivered. Earlier in 2016, a person first hurled a CD, and then a shoe at Kejriwal during a press conference in Delhi. In 2017, on Vikas, a resident of Haryana’s Dadri, threw a show at Kejriwal as he was unhappy over “Delhi CM’s views on the Sutlej-Yamuna Canal issue”.

Parkash Singh Badal faced the shoe attack at least twice. One Gurbachan Singh hurled a shoe towards Badal in Ratta Khera village in Lambi in 2017. As per police, “a Punjabi jutti” was thrown from a distance of 12 feet” by the person identified as brother of ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ appointed ‘parallel jathedar ‘ of Takht Kesgarh Sahib Amrik Singh Ajnala. The man was “angry over the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 and the government inaction”.

Earlier, on August 15, 2014, a man Bikram threw a shoe towards Badal during annual political conference at Issru village in Khanna. The shoe landed among the security personnel in front of then CM’s dais. Bikram accused Badal of “ruining the SGPC (Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee)” and was upset that “no respect is being given to the teachers”.

NCP (SP) chief Pawar was slapped at a function on Parliament Street in November 2011 when he was Union Agriculture Minister. The accused Harvinder Singh, a transporter, had earlier assaulted former Telecom Minister Sukhram outside Rohini Court after he was sentenced in a corruption case. “All of them are corrupt”, shouted Harvinder as he was overpowered by the security personnel.

In 2009, Jarnail Singh, then a journalist with a Hindi daily, hurled a shoe towards then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram during a press conference at All India Congress Committee headquarters. Chidambaram ducked and saw the shoe passing by his side. Singh claimed he threw the shoe to protest against the minister’s reply on his question on CBI’s clean chit to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 Sikh riots case.

Among other political leaders, a shoe was thrown at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during an election rally in Dehradun in 2012. A police officer had hurled his “brown leather shoe” at former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah during a function on Independence Day in 2010.

One person had even tried to fling a shoe at former prime minister Manmohan Singh during an election rally in Ahmedabad in 2009. The shoe, however, did not reach the Congress leader.

In January 2015, a man threw a shoe at former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi in Patna.

VK Pandian, the close aide of Odisha’s former chief minister Naveen Patnaik faced an ink attack, at the venue of a public grievance meeting at Satyabadi in Puri district last year.