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MeToo being blown out of proportion: Shatrughan Sinha

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Shatrughan Sinha (File Photo)

Mumbai, Oct 18: Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha says while the MeToo movement is noble, it is becoming “free-for-all” and being blown out of proportion.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. Your dear friend Subhash Ghai stands accused of multiple sexual offences. Your comments?

A. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? I am all for the MeToo movement, never in my 40-year career have I misbehaved with any woman. I treat every lady with utmost respect. Having said that, I think this MeToo campaign is being blown out of all proportion.

Q. In what way?

A. While the cause was definitely noble and praiseworthy, it has now become a free-for-all. Anyone can name and shame anyone. Reputations and jobs are being lost through a trial by media. To all the women who are aggrieved I say, please go to court and make sure the wrongdoers are punished.

Q. You’ve done some terrific films with Subhash Ghai. Would you work with him in future?

A. Why not? If he is proven innocent, why not? Even if he is proven guilty, and he serves the punishment given to him, I’d work with him. Sanjay Dutt served his jail sentence and is back working in our large-hearted film industry. In fact, we had no problem working with him even when he was an accused in a serious case.

Q. Many of the top stars and directors have vowed not to work with sexual offenders?

A. This hypocrisy I can’t understand. They have no problem working with Sanjay Dutt who has been convicted. But they want to blacklist people whose guilt is yet to be proven. Just to look like heroes of the MeToo movement.

Q. A-list actors have dissociated themselves from tainted directors?

A. I don’t want to name anyone. But I will say this. Sau choohe khaa kar billi haj ko chali’. Those seeking to perch themselves on a high moral ground, should look into their conscience. The problem of sexual exploitation, doesn’t end with some names being put out in the social media. This is just the beginning. The problem runs much deeper.

Q. Your tainted party colleague M.J. Akbar refuses to step down. What is your take on his brazen attitude?

A. I don’t even know which political party I belong to anymore! Having said that, M.J. Akbar is a friend. And a wise one. I know him from the time he revolutionised journalism in this country. He knows what he is doing, and why. I believe he has employed 97 lawyers to defend him against charges (of sexual harassment). He should have employed three more lawyers… It would have been a century… Seriously, how can he afford such a massive legal fleet? I can’t afford it if I ever need it.

IANS

India

Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh pay tributes to Nehru

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New Delhi, Nov 14: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan and others paid homage to the nation’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his birth anniversary at Shanti Van.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee, former Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with Gandhi and senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, P.C. Chacko among others paid floral tributes to Nehru at the Shanti Vana here.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also remembered Nehru.

‘Remembering Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister, on his birth anniversary’, President Kovind tweeted.

“We recall his contribution to our freedom struggle and during his tenure as Prime Minister”, Modi said in a tweet.

Born on November 14, 1889, Nehru took oath as the first Prime Minister on August 15, 1947, after the country attained independence from the British rule.

Chacha Nehru served the country till May 27, 1964. He still remains as the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister.

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Rafale Jet deal hearing in Supreme Court underway

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Rafale deal scam

New Delhi, Nov 14: The Supreme Court on Wednesday began its crucial hearing on pleas seeking a court-monitored investigation into the Rafale fighter jets deal. 

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph to examine the pricing details of the 36 Rafale fighter jets which  India is procuring from France.

The central government on Monday submitted over a 14-page document related to details of its decision-making process before the apex court in a sealed cover.

The initial arguments were started by petitioner advocate Manohar Lal Sharma.

Sharma told the bench that report filed by the government in the court reveals that there has been serious fraud while making the decision post May 2015.

He urged Supreme Court that the matter be heard by a five-judge bench.

Counsel appearing for AAP leader Sanjay Singh told the top court that pricing of the 36 Rafale aircraft deal was revealed in the Parliament twice, hence, the submission of government that pricing details cannot be made public was not acceptable.

Senior lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for former Union minister Arun Shourie, who is also one of the petitioners in the Rafale deal case, submitted to the three-judge Apex Court that only in three situations, the intergovernmental route can be resorted.

He also told the Apex Court that there was no sovereign guarantee from the side of the France government in the deal.

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Chhattisgarh: 5 Security Personnel, 1 Civilian injured in Bijapur blast

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Bijapur, Nov 14: Five security personnel and one civilian were injured on Wednesday in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.

The incident occurred at around 9:00 am in a truck carrying Border Security Forces (BSF) troops of 414 Adhoc Batallion in the Bijapur Ghatti area.

Out of the five security personnel injured, four of them belonged to BSF while one person was from District Reserve Guard (DRG).

“4 BSF jawans, one DRG and one civilian have been injured in IED blast in Bijapur Ghatti (7 kms from Bijapur). All injured have been admitted to a hospital in Bijapur”, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Naxal Operation) P Sundarraj told ANI.

The blast took place two days after the first phase of assembly election to 18 seats in the state.

In the other incident a gunfight broke out during a search operation not far from the IED blast spot. The 85 Battalion of the CRPF troopers were attacked by the insurgents. “Firing is still on,” Deputy Inspector General M. Dinakaran said.

Both attacks took place simultaneously at 9.15 a.m. in the Mahadev Ghat area, a police officer said.

It was the ninth Maoist attack in 19 days in the poll-bound state where the second phase of voting to 72 seats will take place on November 20.

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