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Vice-President warns against violence, bounties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Violent threats and rewards for physical harm are not acceptable in a democracy, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday as he warned forces against undermining the rule of law, in comments that come amid widespread protests against movie ‘Padmavati’.The Vice-President also said that the one should not hurt people’s sentiments and warned against selective condemnation, though he did not directly refer to the yet-to-be-released Bollywood period drama.Speaking at an event in Delhi, Naidu said there is a new problem of people feeling that some films have hurt their sentiments, and this has led to protests. Some people go overboard and announce rewards, he said.Groups claiming to represent the Rajput community have protested and issued bounties for murder and mutilation of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and lead actress Deepika Padukone, and have also been endorsed by a section of politicians, for “distortion of history.””Whether these fellows have that much money or not, I doubt. Everyone is announcing Rs one crore reward. Is it so easy to have Rs one crore? This is not acceptable in a democracy,” the Vice-President said.Protesters say the alleged depiction of romance between legendry Hindu queen Padmini and Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji insults the Rajput community. The film’s makers have been denying the allegation.”You have the right to protest in a democratic manner, go to appropriate authorities… Protesters should protest lawfully, peacefully,” he said.He added, “You cannot physically obstruct and cannot issue violent threats. You have no right to take laws into your own hands. Let’s not undermine the rule of law.”The December 1 release has been deferred indefinitely by the makers and the highly anticipated magnum opus has been banned in multiple states, mostly ruled by the BJP.Naidu stressed that he was not talking about a particular film. He, however, mentioned some movies such as Garam Hawa, Kissa Kursi Ka and Aandhi, which previously faced protests.”At the same time, you don’t have the right to hurt the sentiments of others”, he, however, said, also warning against selective condemnation and said it was wrong to link controversies to religion.Historians are divided over whether Padmavati ever existed. The movie is based on an epic 16th-century poem, ‘Padmavat’, by Sufi Muslim author Malik Muhammad Jayasi.”India always believed in pluralistic traditions and ethos and never allowed narrow and bigoted views or practices to rear their ugly heads. While dissent is agreeable, disintegration is not acceptable,” Naidu said.”That is the bottom line and any attempt to undermine integrity and unity of India by forces inimical to growth of India must be nipped in the bud.”A trader’s body was found hanging in Jaipur’s famous Nahargarh Fort with “we don’t just hang effigies… Padmavati” scribbled on a nearby rock on Friday, potentially marking a grotesque turn in the protests.Trouble started in January this year when Rajasthan-based fringe group Rajput Karni Sena assaulted Bhansali on the sets in Jaipur. In March, unidentified people vandalised the movie sets in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district. Days after the movie’s trailer released, Karni Sena and other fringe Rajput groups came out on the streets to protest in hundreds.

SC notice against two Raj HC additional judges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Supreme Court issued notices to centre govt and two additional judges of Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday, after hearing a petition filed by a lawyer seeking quashing of the appointment of the two judges. A division bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and also comprising justice Ashok Bhushan,issued notice to the central government and two additional sitting high court judges – Justice Dr Virendra Kumar Mathur and Justice Ram Chandra Singh Jhala of the Rajasthan High Court. The petition was filed by Rajasthan-based lawyer, Sunil Samdaria, seeking quashing of the appointment of two sitting judges of the Rajasthan High Court, as the same is in violation of provision of Constitution of India and as per the binding Judgments of Supreme Court earlier.Samdaria told that these two appointments were contrary to law and they couldn’t be appointed, as the two additional judges had ceased to be member of judicial service and thus ceased to hold judicial office. The two judges,Justice Mathur and Justice Jhala had retired from Rajasthan lower court on September 30,2016 and July 31,2016,respectively. After retirement they had been appointed as additional judges of Rajasthan High Court, Samdaria in his petition claimed.

‘Falahari Baba’, famed Rajasthan Godman, arrested for allegedly raping law student

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swami Kaushlendra Prapannachari Falahari Maharaj aka Falahari Baba, Rajasthan-based self-styled Godman, has been arrested on charges of raping a 21-year-old law student at his Alwar ashram.Famous among his devotees as Falahari Baba for his reported fruits-only diet, the 70-year-old spiritual leader had allegedly raped the woman at his ashram on August 7.It was Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction in rape case that gave the woman courage to report about the matter.The women is from Chattisgarh’s Bilaspur and has been studying law in Jaipur. Her family has been follower of Falahari Baba for many years.According to the woman’s complaint, she had gone to ashram to donate the stipend of the internship that she had got after Baba’s recommendation.She was told that Falahari Baba won’t meet anyone during the eclipse on that day and was advised to stay in the ashram.Later in night, she was called at his room, where the 70-year-old spiritual guru assaulted the 21-year-old law student.She broke her silence after the Ram Rahim verdict and based on her complaint the Bilaspur police registered a case on September 11.After the complaint, the Baba got himself admitted to an Alwar hospital for ‘high blood pressure’, an NDTV report said.All vitals were found noraml and the police arrested Falahari Baba on Saturday.

Karni Sena urges Rajput bodies demanding quota to unite

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajasthan-based Karni Sena today urged all Rajput bodies seeking reservation for the community to rally under one banner to put pressure on the Centre for making economic status as the key criterion for granting quota benefits. Shri Rajput Karni Sena president Mahipal Sinh Makrana said at the end of this year, nearly 15 lakh Rajputs would gather in Delhi to raise their demand for reservation. The outfit has been spearheading agitations demanding quota for the economically weaker sections among the Rajputs and other forward communities for the last few years. Makrana, who was here as part of the Karni Sena’s efforts to expand its base in poll-bound Gujarat, said the present reservation system had failed to serve its purpose. “There are many Rajput bodies in different states which are running campaigns against the existing reservation system. We want to bring all such bodies under the banner of Karni Sena so that we can put pressure on the Centre over the issue in an united manner,” he told reporters. Makrana said the Karni Sena wants the economic condition of a community to be the key criterion for granting benefits of reservation. “We strongly believe that poor people from unreserved category should get benefits of reservation. Economic condition should be made the key parameter for quota. To mount pressure on the Centre and get a law regarding this passed, we have planned a mega gathering of 15 lakh Rajputs in Delhi at the end of this year,” he said. Makrana, however, said the Karni Sena did not want reservation for Rajputs at the expense of the communities which have been availing benefits under the OBC quota. “We want economic condition-based reservation for the Rajputs and other castes. For that, the government needs to pass a law in order to increase the (existing percentage of) quota and take it beyond the 50 per cent cap. To compel the government in doing so, we will show our strength in Delhi,” he said. Makrana claimed Karni Sena has over 6.5 lakh registered members in Rajasthan alone, where it has sought 14 per cent reservation for Rajputs, based on their economic status. “In Gujarat, we have already appointed conveners in Rajkot and Sanand. Now, we will increase our base here gradually. We have undertaken similar exercise in Hindi- speaking states, such as Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Our aim is to bring every Rajput under one banner,” he added. The Patidar community in Gujarat has been holding agitations since 2015, under the leadership of Hardik Patel, demanding quota in government jobs and educational institutes under OBC category.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Karni Sena calls Rajput bodies to join hands for quota demand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajasthan-based ‘Shri Rajput Karni Sena’ today appealed to all Rajput bodies demanding reservation to come under a united banner in a bid to “pressurise” the Central government to review the current quota system. Karni Sena president Mahipal Sinh Makrana told reporters here that nearly 15 lakh Rajputs would gather in Delhi by this year-end to raise their demand for reservation. The Rajasthan-based outfit has been holding agitations demanding reservation for the economically weaker sections among Rajputs and other upper castes for the last few years. According to Makrana, who was here as part of the Karni Sena’s exercise to expand its base in the poll-bound Gujarat, where elections are due later this year, the current reservation system has failed its purpose. “There are many Rajput bodies in different states which are running their stirs against reservation system. Now, we want to bring all such state bodies under the banner of Karni Sena, so that we can give a united fight and pressurise Central government on the issue,” he said while addressing a press conference. Makrana said the Karni Sena wants economic condition of a community be made as the key criterion for granting reservation. “We strongly believe that poor people from unreserved category should get benefits of reservation. Economic condition should be made the key parameter for reservation (policy). To mount pressure on Centre government (and) to pass a law regarding the same, we have planned a mega gathering of 15 lakh Rajputs in Delhi at the end of this year,” he said. He clarified that Karni Sena did not want reservation for Rajputs at the expense of other communities which have been availing benefits under the OBC quota. “We want economic condition-based reservation for Rajputs and other castes. For that, government need to pass a law in order to increase the (existing percentage of) quota and take it beyond the cap of 50 per cent. To compel the government to do so, we will show our strength in Delhi by this year-end,” he said. Makrana said Karni Sena has over 6.5 lakh registered members in Rajasthan alone, where they have already asked for the 14 per cent reservation for Rajputs on the basis of their economic status. “In Gujarat, we have already appointed conveners in Rajkot and Sanand. Now, we will increase our base here gradually. We have undertaken similar exercise in other Hindi-speaking states, such as Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Our aim is to bring every Rajput under one banner,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Advertising agency’s owner remanded in two-day police custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The owner of a Rajasthan-based advertising agency was today remanded in two-day police custody by a court here in connection with a multi-crore government advertisement scam. Ajay Chopra, the owner of Crayons advertising agency, surrendered in the court yesterday following which he was arrested by the ACB (Anti-corruption Bureau). Chopra was directed by the Supreme Court to surrender in a local court after his anticipatory bail applications were rejected by the Rajasthan High Court and the Supreme Court recently. He was produced before a special ACB court today where the magistrate remanded him to two days of police custody for interrogation, according to public prosecutor. The ACB had registered the case against him over his role in issuing government advertisements worth around Rs 3 crore to a few advertisement agencies during the previous Congress regime from 2008-13. Five separate cases were registered against Chopra in connection with the alleged corruption. Although he surrendered in all five cases, the ACB arrested him in connection with only one of these cases. Chopra’s anticipatory bail applications were rejected by High court and Supreme Court recently. On the basis of a complaint by Shankar Lal Gurjar, the FIRs were registered in 2014 under several sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act. Apart from Chopra, the ACB had also lodged FIRs against the officials of Directorate of Information and Public Relations, Directorate of Local Bodies, and Bureau of Promotion and Investment Department, and another advertising agency’s person Amit Gupta (Unison). The ACB court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him last July as he went underground.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Accused seeks discharge in US tourist gangrape case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A man, accused of raping a 25-year -old US tourist in a 5-star hotel here along with three others, today claimed before a court that he should be discharged from the case as there was no evidence against him. Aniruddha Singh also cited a delay of eight months in lodging of the FIR to support his plea. He filed the discharge application before Additional Sessions Judge D K Sharma, who presides over the special fast track court set up to exclusively deal with cases of sexual offences against women, saying it is unbelievable that a citizen of such an advanced country was so reluctant to lodge a complaint. His plea, however, was opposed by the police and the counsel for the complainant woman saying that the CCTV footage of the hotel where the alleged incident took place and a mobile phone have been sent to the forensic laboratory in Hyderabad and the report is awaited. The court after hearing arguments listed the matter for further hearing on March 21. The woman’s advocate submitted that she was drugged and raped by the accused. Several date rape drugs are available in the market and the victims are unable to remember anything after being administered the medication, the counsel said. He also said there was no reason why a foreigner will falsely implicate the accused and that her travel expenses were borne by legal aid authority as she did not have the means to travel to India. However, the counsel for the accused said the charge sheet was only based on the woman’s statement given to a magistrate under section 164 CrPC and there was no other evidence against them. He further said there was a delay of eight months in lodging of the FIR. The defence lawyer claimed that the woman filed the case to get a compensation from the US authorites under the American law. During the hearing, the court asked the woman’s counsel to inform it on the next date of hearing as to when she can come to India for giving evidence. The case was marked to the sessions judge today by the district judge after a magisterial court earlier took cognisance of the charge sheet. In the charge sheet, Delhi Police has alleged that the accused — Aniruddha Singh, a Rajasthan-based tourist guide, Vivek Srivastava, who was working in the hotel when the crime was allegedly committed, Omprakash and Maqsood — raped the woman in April last year and threatened her. It has alleged the accused had also committed unnatural sex with her and that they also made videos of the act. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bhansali roughed up, Padmavati set vandalised

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was allegedly roughed up and the set of his under-production film Padmavati vandalised by members of a Rajput organisation when the shooting was in progress at the Jaigarh Fort here on Friday.The film’s shoot was stalled after the incident as the production team huddled together to decide on the next course of action. The SLB production house CEO flew to Jaipur late at night. No case from either side was filed till reports last came in.Members of Karni Sena, a Rajasthan-based Rajput outfit, interrupted the shooting of the film. According to police, the sets looked ravaged and the crew has reported several of their equipment broken.Karni Sena patron Lokendra Singh Kalvi, however, said the escalation was not on their end. “Bhansali’s bodyguard who were escorting him fired shots before the police were called in,” he said. Ever since Bhansali announced his film based on the life of Chittor queen Padmavati after Bajirao Mastani, Rajput community has been roiled by what they term as “contorting history” for the big screen. Terming the plot of the movie as distortion of historical facts based on reports about intimacy between Chittor Queen Padmavati and Allaudin Khilji, second ruler of Khilji dynasty who attacked Chittor in 14th century, in the film, some Rajput outfits have openly registered their protest.Activists of Karani Sena reportedly reached the fort Friday afternoon, shouting slogans against the movie and demanding a halt on film’s shooting. They were miffed with Bhansali who despite reminders in past did not listen to their objections and proceeded with the shooting. Heated arguments then ensued between the film’s crew and the outfit members who reportedly tried to manhandle Bhansali who was seated at the site and protected by crew members who threw a human cordon around him. A video footage of the said incident shows the crew in shock and their electronic devices, furniture and sets strewn around the fort’s roof.Lokendra Singh Kalvi who heads the outfit denied there was any violence on their part. “We are against the falsehood woven into a historical subject,” he said. Police detained five activists of Karni Sena who were in custody till reports last came in.

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