74th Independence Day: Priyanka Chopra remembers 'strong and fearless' women who made history

News Network
August 15, 2020

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New Delhi, Aug 15: Actor Priyanka Chopra on Saturday addressed and paid her respects to all those fearless women in history who have played their own unique role during the struggle for the country's independence.

As the nation celebrates its 74th Independence Day on Saturday, 'The Sky is Pink' actor took a moment to signify the importance of the many warrior women who have made history with their contribution during the fight for freedom and further in making of our country.

The 38-year-old actor on Instagram shared a montage video, with stills, and videos of those wonderful women including Amrit Kaur, Aruna Asaf Ali, Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, Durgawati Devi, Kamala Nehru, Kanaklata Barua, Kasturba Gandhi, Kittur Rani Chennamma, Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, Sarojini Naidu, Sucheta Kripalani and Uda Devi.

"Vande Mataram, they were queens, they were warriors, they were revolutionaries, they were messengers, supporters and of course many a leader. India's freedom struggle gave birth to countless strong and fearless women. Each has played a unique part in the struggle and every one of them will remain etched forever in our hearts and our history," Chopra said in the background of the black-and-white video.

Earlier, many big names in the entertainment industry, from veteran actors Dharmendra Deol, Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher to legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar to music maestro AR Rahman and others extended their warm wishes on the 74th Independence Day.

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News Network
September 14,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 14: Actor Anupam Kher on Monday remembered Kashmiri social worker Tika Lal Taplu on "Kashmiri Pandits' Martyrs' Day".

In a tweet today, the 65-year-old actor said that "39 years ago" on this day, a "long series" of "atrocities began" on "Kashmiri Pandits".

"39 years ago today, a 59-year-old social worker Shri Tika Lal Taplu ji was murdered by terrorists in Srinagar on 14 September. And from here began a long series of atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits. #KPMartyrsDay," he tweeted (roughly translated from Hindi).

"Even if these wounds are healed. But it is not forgotten, and should not be forgotten," he added.

The 'Saaransh' actor often uses his social media handles to voice his opinions on several issues.

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News Network
September 23,2020

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Mumbai, Sept 23: Actress Rhea Chakraborty, arrested in a drugs case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death, has said in her bail plea filed in the Bombay High Court that she is innocent and NCB is "deliberately" trying to invoke stringent charges against her and her family.

She also said that she has been subjected to a "witch-hunt".

In her bail application filed in the HC on Tuesday, Chakraborty said she is just 28 years of age, and besides the probe by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), she has been subjected to three more investigations by police and central agencies, and a "simultaneous media trial".

These probes refer to the ones conducted into Rajput's death by the Mumbai Police, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Chakraborty said all of this has taken a "severe toll on her mental health and well being".

Any further custody will worsen her mental health, she said in her plea filed through her counsel Satish Maneshinde.

Her bail plea was scheduled to be heard by a single bench presided over by Justice Sarang Kotwal on Wednesday.

However, since the High Court suspended the day's hearings owing to heavy rains in the city, the plea is likely to be heard on Thursday.

Chakraborty further said in her plea that Rajput had been in the habit of consuming drugs, particularly, "ganja" since even before she got into a relationship with him.

While she would sometimes procure drugs for him in "small quantities", and would also "occasionally pay for them herself," she was in no way a part of any drug syndicate.

She also said Rajput was the only one who was consuming the said drugs.

"The applicant (Chakraborty) is innocent and has not committed any crime whatsoever," the plea said.

She also said in her plea that she has been subjected to a "witch-hunt," and after the CBI and the ED failed to gather any evidence against her, the NCB was "brought in to somehow implicate her and her family".

Chakraborty has been booked by the NCB on several charges, including financing illicit trafficking of drugs under Section 27-A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act.

Section-27 A brings along a bar on the grant of bail to an accused.

The actor said she has been wrongly booked under the NDPS Act Section 27-A.

Besides, since no drugs were seized from her possession and since the NCB has managed to seize only 59 grams of drugs from all accused persons, the bar on grant of bail cannot be applied to her, she said in the plea.

The actress said a bar on grant of bail can come into play only if the drugs seized are in commercial quantities.

Last week, a similar argument was made by lawyers of Samuel Miranda and Dipesh Sawant, co-accused in the case, before a bench of Justice Kotwal.

Justice Kotwal had then pointed out that a plain reading of the NDPS Act showed Section 27-A could be imposed irrespective of the quantum of drugs recovered by the NCB.

He had, however, directed Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who represent the NCB in the high court, to clarify the same on September 29, the next date of hearing on the bail pleas of Miranda and others.

Chakraborty said some others accused in the case had faced identical allegations, but they had not been booked under the stringent Section 27-A.

She also said that at best, she can be accused of having procured drugs in small amounts for her boyfriend.

However, she was trying her best to wean Rajput off his habit of consuming drugs, the actress said.

Besides, if Rajput was alive today, he would have been charged merely for consumption of drugs and would have invited a maximum sentence of just one year, while she has been charged under sections imposing a maximum sentence of up to 20 years, Chakraborty said in the plea.

On a similar argument last week on the other pleas, Justice Kotwal pointed out that the NDPS Act adopts an "empathetic approach" towards the drug addict with view towards his rehabilitation.

However, it aims at ending all illicit trafficking of drugs and therefore, carries stringent punishment for those involved in procurement, financing and production of drugs.

Earlier this month,a special NDPS court in the city rejected the bail pleas of the actress and her brother Showik Chakraborty, saying if let out on bail, they might tamper with the evidence.

The actress is currently lodged in the Byculla women's prison in the city.

Rajput (34) was found hanging in his home in suburban Bandra on June 14.

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News Network
September 25,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 25: Sid Mallya, son of fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya, will make his debut as an author with a book on mental health, announced publishing house Westland.

Tentatively titled conSIDer This, borrowed from his recent web series where Mallya talked about his own mental struggle and how he overcame it, the book is scheduled to be published in May 2021, they added.

The actor-producer, who has been part of films like Brahman Naman and Best Fake Friends, has garnered "over three million views" for the web series posted on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

"When I launched my 'conSIDer This' series earlier in the year, my aim was to just try and help as many people as I could by sharing my own experiences with mental health in an open and transparent manner.

"The amazing response that the series received inspired me to want to keep spreading awareness around mental health, and I'm happy to be able to continue my journey by partnering with Westland to turn 'conSIDer This' into a book," said the 33-year-old.

While in the web series Sid used examples from his journey and addressed a gamut of topics within the sphere of mental health, the book will delve into what tools he used to help him cope and more importantly find a way to highlight the importance of seeking professional help.

"We're delighted to be collaborating with Sid on a book based on his video series on mental health issues, which has resonated with millions of viewers. Mental health is a major concern worldwide and we hope that Sid’s book, in which he will open up about his own journey, will help create an awareness and sensitivity about the issue," said Deepthi Talwar, chief editor, Westland Publications.

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