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Home Ministry assures states of assistance in case of trouble over Padmavati screening

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Deepika-Padukone-Padmavati

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Narendra Modi government on Thursday came in support of screening of the movie Padmavati which has been facing protests and threats of violence if it is released from some Rajput groups.

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday assured all the states that it would give “full consideration” to any request for assistance to handle any ongoing and potential public order issues because of the controversy surrounding the upcoming Bollywood movie ‘Padmavati’.

The MHA assurance came on the heels of Supreme Court upholding right to freedom of speech and expression while rejecting a plea to ban the movie ‘An Insignificant Man’ based on Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal. The film will be screened in cinema halls on Friday as scheduled.

Rejecting the plea by Nachiketa Walhakar seeking to restrain the release of the film, the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud said, courts should be extremely slow in passing restrain order as there can’t be curbs on the freedom of speech and expression.

The court said that filmmakers and writers should be allowed to enjoy freedom of speech and expression, and that all creative people have the right to enjoy their works in production of films and dramas.

The release of the film Padmavati, scheduled for December 1, was in doldrums as fringe groups like Karni Sena issued threats of violence, claiming it portrayed queen Padmini in a way they found inappropriate. The film is based on a based on the legend of Rani Padmini, a Hindu Rajput queen, mentioned in Padmavat, an Avadhi poem written by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540. It has little factual, historical basis.

This, however, did not prevent sentiments of extra-sensitive sections from getting hurt.

As the problem persisted, the MHA on Thursday assured state governments of all necessary assistance if required on account of law and order problem over the issue. “The first responder in relation to ongoing and potential public order issues are the district administration and state police under the overall guidance of the state government,” an MHA spokesperson told news agency ANI. “Any request for assistance, as and when received, will receive the fullest consideration of the ministry,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Sri Rajput Karni Sena said that they would gather in lakhs and call for a nation-wide shutdown on December 1, the release date of the movie. In Jaipur, Shri Rajput Karni Sena founder and patron Lokendra Singh Kalvi said: “Ahinsa bahut zaruri hai, hinsa toh majboori hai. Jauhar ki jwala hai, bahut kucch jalega. Rok sako toh is Padmavati ko rok lo (Non-violence is important but violence is the last resort. This is the fire of Jauhar, a lot will burn. Stop this Padmavati if you can).”

Giving the call for a nationwide strike on December 1, Kalvi said the Karni Sena will take the support of like-minded individuals and organisations. “We are not talking of a Rajasthan bandh, but a Bharat bandh on December 1,” he said.

One of Karni Sena members had, openly on TV, reportedly announced a reward of Rs 5 crore to anyone who beheads Bhansali. Police have tightened security for the filmmaker.

A Sena leader Mahipal Singh Makrana said if need be, action will be taken against Deepika Padukone, the female lead in the movie, threatening to chop off her nose and ears.

Typically wishy-washy in taking a firm stand, the Congress had said that if there are any scenes in Padmavati that hurt sentiments, they need to be reviewed.

The MHA statement becomes particularly significant in view of the fact that, in its threats of violence and free rein in multiple states, the Rajput group has been backed by many BJP leaders in senior, responsible positions.

Rajasthan Higher and Technical Education Minister Kiran Maheshwari also joined the chorus of protests , asserting that she strongly opposes the film “made purely for making money and entertainment”.

The Rajasthan Women’s Commission has also written to the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) to ensure that the honour of women “is not adversely affected” in the movie.

On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and hardline BJP leader Yogi Adityanath said the release of Padmavati on December 1 will pose a “law and order problem” for his state. The UP government has sent a letter to the information and broadcasting ministry urging it to inform the censor board about the public sentiment against the film and defer its release.

Senior home department officials are of the view that the release would come as an additional burden on the police which will be hard-pressed to ensure free and fair civic polls and the counting of votes on December 1.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film ‘Padmavati’, starring Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji, is slated for release on December 1.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma says only 8 people applied for citizenship under CAA

Addressing a press conference at the Lok Sewa Bhawan in Guwahati, Sarma said that out of these applicants, only two have attended interviews with relevant authorities.

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Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that only eight people have applied for citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) from the state so far.

Addressing a press conference at the Lok Sewa Bhawan in Guwahati, Sarma said that out of these applicants, only two have attended interviews with relevant authorities.

The Assam CM further said that the State conducted outreach programmes in the Barak valley and approached many Hindu Bengali families and asked them to apply for citizenship under CAA. However, they refused to do so saying that they would prefer fighting their cases at the Foreigners Tribunal (FT), Sarma added.

Foreign Tribunals (FT), quasi-judicial bodies exclusive to Assam, are authorised to decide the nationality issue of doubtful citizens, he asserted. Sarma also claimed that most of the Hindu-Bengali families, who were not included in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), told him that they possessed the necessary documents to prove their Indian citizenship and preferred the FT route rather than applying for through the CAA.

When asked whether the Assam government is dropping cases in Foreigners Tribunals (FT) against Hindu-Bengalis, Sarma termed it misleading. He said the State cannot drop any case. The government is simply advising that before initiating a case, individuals should apply through the CAA portal. Even if a case is filed, there won’t be any outcome because these people are eligible for citizenship, Assam CM emphasised.

CM also assured that he is going to request the Advocate General to flag the issue of CAA so that FTs can give time to people whose cases are going on to apply for citizenship under the newly implemented law.

He added that the government cannot give a direction to the court to pause while deciding the citizenship cases. The FT judges themselves have to decide and they know the latest situation, Sarma said.

He also explained why there was a low number of applications in CAA, saying the Opposition myth that 15-20 lakh Bangladeshis will get citizenship in Assam has been busted completely.

The Chief Minister said that during the anti-CAA movement, five Assamese youths lost their lives. So they made the sacrifice to prevent only these eight people, he asked. This abysmally low number of eight applications, of which only two turned up for interview, is a bit surprising for us also, he said.

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AAP claims Arvind Kejriwal lost 8.5 kg, Tihar jail rebuts

Not 8.5 Kgs but Kejriwal lost around 3.5 Kgs during his incarceration period in prison.

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The authorities in Tihar jail on Monday addressed the accusations of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that the Delhi Chief Minister has lost 8.5 kg weight through his term of imprisonment, saying not 8.5 Kgs but Kejriwal lost around 3.5 Kgs during his incarceration period in prison.

This was only after one of the confessed BJP’s was planning to destroy Kejriwal’s life by ignoring his medical needs as a diabetic. In contradiction, Tihar prison representatives, according to reports, disclosed that the chief minister has only lost 2 kg of weight from March 30 till now, and he is under the scrutiny of a medical board comprised of doctors from AIIMS.

It all started when AAP leader and Delhi Minister Atishi on Sunday claimed that Kejriwal had a drop in his weight of 8.5 kg after his arrest and his blood sugar continued to be below normal levels several times while in care.

AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh painted a picture of doom by stating that Tihar doctors had verified Kejriwal’s weight loss, mentioning the consequences of excessive health complications due to hypoglycemia. However, the Tihar prison administration denied the claims of AAP, which were sent to the home department of Delhi by saying they were misleading and detrimental to the prison, and were crafted to weaken trust in the prison system.

The authority alleged that they see a report each time the measurements are done; it makes them do their work better, as Kejriwal’s doctor uses it to monitor his condition. Prison staff stated that all necessary health care is provided to him, and he is always fed three times a day with home-cooked meals.

They were vociferous in condemning a plot, saying that the aim was to damage the image of the prison with wrong tales. As stated by Tihar-based medical documents, Kejriwal’s weight was 65 kg on April 1, as he got into the prison, and 66 kg from April 8 to 29. After getting back to jail on June 2, following a 21-day intermediary bail, his weight went down to 63.5 kg.

On July 14, his weight reduced further to 61.5 kg. Thus, a total of 2 kg was lost during his detention. The health condition of Kejriwal is still monitored by the AIIMS medical board, and updates on his health are being regularly given to his wife, Sunita Kejriwal.

However, there is the AAP that is adamant about their affirmative claims, stating that the act of reporting the documents without his go-ahead is illegal and also gives the impression that there are activities going on with the ultimate goal of getting rid of him.

This was followed a few months later by his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation on June 26 in a corruption case that revolved around the same case. Although he was granted anticipatory bail by possibly the apex court filed in the case of money laundering, he is still detained due to the ongoing corruption case.

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Hemant Soren meets PM Modi in Delhi, first meeting after release from jail

He secured bail and became chief minister again on July 4.

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Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in Delhi. This was his first meeting with the Prime Minister after he was released from jail where he spent around five months.

Taking to X, Jharkhand Chief Minister said that the meeting was a courtesy call. Notably, he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 31 this year in connection with a money laundering case related to an alleged land scam.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) executive president had spent around five months in prison, he secured bail and became chief minister again on July 4.

On July 3, JMM leader and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Soren stepped out of the Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi Friday following the grant of bail by the Jharkhand High Court.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rongon Mukhopadhyay, while granting bail, noted that the Court’s findings satisfy the condition that there exist reasons to believe that Soren is not guilty of the PMLA offence he has been accused of.

Following Soren’s bail on July 3, the outgoing Chief Minister Champai Soren had said that the party alliance decided to elect Hemant Babu (Hemant Soren) as leader, after which he resigned from his post. Champai Soren tendered his resignation to Governor C P Radhakrishnan and soon after Hemant Soren staked a claim to form the government. Soren along with alliance party leaders met the Governor after he reached Ranchi on July 3 evening from outside. Hemant Soren took oath as the 13th Chief Minister of the State on July 4 again.

Meanwhile, earlier today, BJP leader Deepak Prakash claimed that Hemant Soren’s government of 4.5 years has been one that wreaks havoc on the public, one that takes away employment from the youth. Hemant Soren’s government is a synonym for corruption. The government has been involved in a mining scam, a tender scam and one that has brought jungle raj in the state, he added.  

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