‘Padmaavat’ Bandwagon continues: Producers move to Supreme Court

As Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film ‘Padmavaat’ is set to release, the movie still faces ban in Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and  Rajasthan. The producers today moved the matter to the  Supreme Court (SC) challenging the ban on its screening by these states. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra agreed to hear the petition on Janurary 18.

The film producer has mentioned in his petition, of the film undergoing many changes including its title to meet all suggestions of the Censor Board. 

The producer questioned the power of the State government on imposing a complete ban on the film in spite of the SC clarifying that screening of a film can only be suspended in an area if the law and order of the situation in that area is disturbed.

The film faced stiff opposition from many BJP leaders in Haryana. Both Anil Vij and Vipul Goel had urged Information and broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani to ban the film in November.

Haryana announced its ban on Padmaavat yesterday. The Haryana cabinet headed by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar approved proposals of the same and Minister Anil Vij tweeted “Film Padmavati/Padmaavat banned in Haryana,” yesterday.

Source: TOI, HT

Twelve more arrested for Koregaon Bhima Violence

Twelve more people including three minors were arrested by district police in connection with the Koregaon Bhima Violence on January 1. The violence broke out due to caste clashes in which one person was killed. 

Seventeen people were earlier arrested by the police in connection with the incident.  The violence took place during the bicentennial event to memorialize the Koregaon-Bhima battle in which Peshwas lost to the British imperial army comprising of Dalits. 

On January 1, numerous vehicles, shops, houses were vandalized by mobs in areas near Koregaon Bhima. Several Dalits visit the Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar) every year to commemorate the Koregaon Bhima battle.

Pune district SP Suvez Haque said that those who were arrested on Monday were from the Maratha and Dalit communities. The police are trying to analyse CCTV footages and video recordings to see and identify the anti-social elements in the violence on January 1.

The police also booked six members of the Kabir Kala Manch, a radical cultural group for making provocative remarks during the Elgaar Parishad held on December 31, a day before the violence broke out.

JNU leader Umar Khalid, Dalit MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani,Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh President Prakash Ambedkar and  Late Rohit Vemula’s mother Radhika Vemula attended the Elgaar Parishad. 

Mevani and Khalid have already been charged by the police for making  provocative remarks to create rifts between the Dalits and the Marathas.

 Sources: TOI, India Today 


Cauvery Water dispute: SC to declare verdict within four weeks

Image Courtesy: Sruthisagar Yamunan
Supreme Court will be giving out its verdict on 22-year-old Cauvery river dispute within four weeks.

New Delhi, January 09: The Supreme Court has decided to declare its verdict on the Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka within four weeks. The water-sharing row had snowballed into a massive problem resulting in protests and subsequent violence in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu after the Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu in September 2016.

A three-judge bench of the apex court has reserved its verdict on appeals filed by Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu against the 2007 order of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) on sharing of the river water.

There has been enough confusion on the row for over two decades, said the Top court. The court has also said that any forum is allowed to discuss further on the matter after the verdict on this issue is delivered after four-weeks. The three judges involved in passing the judgement are Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

The court remarked the following during the hearing of the plea filed in 2016 by a citizens’ group called Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) led by philanthropist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. He sought its intervention for the supply of drinking water to residents of Bengaluru and surrounding districts.

There has been an acute shortage of drinking water in Bengaluru and other districts of South Karnataka. Bengaluru city alone requires more than 19 TMC of water and the annual drinking water requirement of districts near the Cauvery basin including Bengaluru is around 26 TMC.

The BPAC has appealed to the court that citizens of Bengaluru need adequate drinking water and their right to life needed to be protected by the top court.


Sources: The Times of IndiaScroll.in

Trump Tower fire: two people injured in inferno in Midtown Manhattan

Two people sustained injuries, one with severe burns in an early morning fire at Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. The fire was reported at 7 am ET. New York City fire officials said the fire broke out in the building’s heating and air conditioning system. 

A civilian was treated for serious burns and a firefighter was treated for minor injuries, the officials said. It took about an hour to put out the fire.  

The tower is home to a number of residences and businesses. Donald Trump, who keeps a residence in the tower, was at the White House in Washington DC. The place had been Trump’s primary residence before his election victory and inauguration nearly a year ago, the department said.

News footage shows firefighters on the roof of the skyscraper, at East 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. 

Smoke billowed from a corner of the high-rise for a while before most of it dissipated. A few remained on the roof about an hour later.  

More than 90 minutes after the initial report, 84 firefighters and 26 units were still on the scene, according to department spokesman Firefighter Ken Reilly.

Eric Trump, one of Donald Trump’s sons tweeted his thanks to firefighters for doing “an incredible job”.

Sources – The Guardian, NDTV


Liqour Baron Vijay Mallya declared proclaimed absconder by Delhi Court

A court in Delhi here on proclaimed the “King of Good times” Vijay Mallya as an absconder on account of violating the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Shehrawat passed the judgement keeping in view the submissions made and the fact that the accused Vijay Mallya failed to show up to court even after a lapse of 30 days. Neither was there any representation made on his behalf.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had approached the court. The court had then asked Mallya to appear before the court by December 18. The ED had summoned the businessman numerous times with charges of alleged payment of $200,000 to a British firm. This was done to display the Kingfisher logo during the F1 World Championship in London and other European countries in 1996, 1997 and 1998. It was said that the money was paid without prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India, in violation of FERA norms.

Mallya is wanted in India for a numerous cases, such as for defaulting on loans worth Rs 9,000 crores from 17 banks. He has been in the United Kingdom since March 2016, and had earlier stated he would not return to the country.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs submitted an extradition request to UK after the fugitive businessman made his self-imposed exile clear. The request was made on the basis of an extradition treaty signed between the countries in 1992.

On November 8 2017, the court initiated the process to declare Mallya as a proclaimed offender after it was informed that the open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued earlier against him was returned after failed execution and the agency had no other resort but to initiate the process under Sections 82 and 83 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Add on to the ‘Ban Padmavati’ bandwagon: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar bans screening Sanjay Leela Bansali’s Film

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar joins the ‘Ban Padmavati’ chorus. This stand came in after the Supreme Court commented on how people holding public positions should refrain from commenting on films which have not been cleared by CBFC as it is likely to prejudice minds of board members while deciding on the matter.

Nitish Kumar’s stand against Padmavati comes after his counterparts Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh and Vijay Rupani from Gujarat announced a ban on this film. He also added that the filmmaker shouldn’t have made the actor playing Padmavati dance in the film.

His statement came right after several Rajput organizations and prominent NDA leader called for a ban on the film. Former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, senior JD (U) leader and minister Jay Kumar Singh and BJP MLA Gyanendra Singh “Gyanu” have also criticized screening the film in the state as it could “offend” Rajputs, who account for 4 per cent of Bihar’s population.

Like Gujarat CM’s stand, Nitish Kumar will not allow screening of the film unless producers and directors issue adequate clarification. Agitations took place outside the Bihar legislative assembly, with numerous BJP politicians protesting against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film.

The Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh starrer film was supposed to be released on December 1 but following the protest, the release is likely to be postponed.

Sources- India Today, Indian Express


47 dead in 18 days: Amarnath Shrine Board CEO

The terror attack during Amarnath Yatra on July 10 has taken 47 lives by now. Apart from the people who died in the attack, others have lost their lives due to prolonged sickness and accident. “Between June 29 and July 16, 19 pilgrims died due to medical reasons and 20 were killed in accidents. On July 10, eight pilgrims were killed in a terror attack on their bus,” said Umang Narula, the CEO of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) to Indian Express.

This wasn’t the first time that the Amarnath pilgrims were targeted by terror groups. Numerous terror attacks have taken place since 1993 to 2016 due to security lapses.

The  Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board spent around Rs 14,66,975 on transportation and Rs 1,34,75,000 towards ex gratia payments, reported livemint. According to the Indian Express, Narula told a decision has been made to increase the amount of ex gratia relief to the families of those killed in the terror attack.

The CEO also mentioned about sending back mortal remains of the deceased to their respective families by air. The board has already transported the mortal remains of 12 pilgrims to near airports in Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. While 37 others are yet to be escorted back with the coffin to their families.