Actor Rani Mukerji recently reprised her role of police officer Shivani Shivaji Roy in Gopi Puthran-directed "Mardaani 2", sequel to 2014's "Mardaani".

When asked how did she defend herself from people who behaved inappropriately with her during her growing up years, Rani told reporters, "I have straight up slapped. I've grown up looking up to Durga. So whenever something like this happened with me as a child, I've slapped. I've slapped many, there's no count."

The actor was speaking at a special event of the film. Produced by Aditya Chopra, the film hit the theatres last Friday and Rani said she is overwhelmed with the reactions.

"The response has been great. I'm extremely happy that our aim of 'naari shakti' has reached across so many women of the country. The fact that girls are coming out of the theatres and feeling empowered is the best, most heartening response," she added.

"Mardaani 2" aims to draw attention towards rape crimes committed by juveniles.

The Supreme Court is set to hear on December 17 the plea filed by one of the four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape-and-murder case seeking review of its 2017 judgement awarding him death penalty.

When asked what should be the punishment for rape convicts, Rani said, "In my opinion, rapists, these people who carry out such barbaric acts, should get the strictest punishment.

"When a rape victim loses her life, and the kind of trauma her family faces is incomparable. These perpetrators deserve brutal punishment. They are not worthy of being forgiven," she added.