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June 26, 2001 - June 26, 2001

Lagaan is aired on cable network, police ignorant Tuesday, June 26, 2001

By Sonal Kellogg, AsianAge
Ahmedabad, June 25: In a flagrant violation of the Copyright Act, the just released Lagaan made by producer-actor Aamir Khan was telecast on cable channels in several areas, on Sunday night.

It was screened by operators at Satellite, Ambawadi, some parts of Drive-in , Azad Society, Vastrapur and other areas. The societies where the movie was screened is allegedly serviced by InCable Net.

But when asked at the control room of InCable Net, Mr Ashok Patel, an employee, denied that they had screened the movie on Sunday, but he added that the movie could have been screened by local cable operators on public demand.

Meanwhile, the president of the Cable Operators Association, Mr Pramod Pandya, said that all the movies screened were done so from the control room only and that no cable operator could act individually. He also added that he had received several calls in the night informing him that Lagaan was being screened.

Another cable operator, Bharat, not wanting to disclose his identity said that the movie was screened from the control room itself. But when contacted Mr Summet Tehlan, manager of In Cable Net, Ahmedabad, was not available for his comments.

Meanwhile, DIG Shivanand Jha, incharge of sector I, when asked said that he would investigate as to whether Lagaan was actually beamed, which areas it was and who did it. But he added that they had not received any official complaint on the issue.

Satellite police inspector F.A. Gohil also said that no complaint was filed by any person regarding the issue though it was said to be shown widely in his station’s jurisdiction. He hinted that most people were happy to view the movie from their living rooms which is why there have been no complaints registered.

The manager of R World, Mr Sameer Chawla, said that when new movies are screened on the cable it hurts their business. But he said that they had not yet lodged a formal complaint with the police station. “However, we might lodge a complaint soon,” he added.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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Fences grow higher for wannabe escapists Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Gandhinagar, June 25: Minister of state for home Haren Pandya said here on Monday that the state government is considering amendment in the law to introduce video conferencing facility in the case of hardcore criminals with the magistrate instead of presenting them in person to negate the possibility of escape.

He said such a facility already exists in Andhra Pradesh, and a high level committee comprising of home department officials will make a detailed study of it.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday Mr Pandya said the state government has given clear directions to officials to make adequate security arrangements to ensure that a prisoner in captivity does not escape. Moreover in a significant decision the state government has directed the police to use force in case a criminal attempting to escape, and if the circumstances demand firearms may be used.

Answering a question Mr Pandya said 30 incidents of prisoners escaping the law while being shifted have been reported in last 15 months. However there have been no instances of hardcore criminals escaping the law. “The state government has taken a serious view of criminals escaping from police parties while in transit, and clear directions have been given to ensure against the possibility,” Mr Pandya said.

The minister said henceforth criminals will not be allowed to take refreshments at private joints while being shifted.

Moreover, if the circumstances demand that the prisoner be given refreshments en route it will be done at the nearest police station. Criminals will also be compelled to answer the call of nature at police stations on the way, Mr Pandya said.

Clear directions have also been given to ensure that the probing officer should obtain necessary legal permissions for the use of handcuffs and chains in the case of hard core criminals specifying the reasons for the use of handcuffs. Mr Pandya said in cases where there is more than one criminal the state government will provide for prison vans, and the state government will purchase 30 more prison vans for the purpose. Instructions have been given to keep a watch the prisoners getting medical treatment at hospitals.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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Vaghela: Gadar a must for peace loving Muslims too Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Gandhinagar, June 25: Social welfare and empowerment minister Fakir Vaghela on Monday said that Gadar was all set to break records in the country. He has lodged a protest against anti-national elements resorting to violence by creating unnecessary controversy over what he called, the patriotic film “Gadar-ek prem katha.”

In a letter to the chief minister, Mr Vaghela urged Mr Keshubhai Patel to view the film with his family members. Mr Vaghela also wants the entire cabinet and top officials to view the film and said that the film is a must for every patriotic and peace-loving Muslim also.

Commenting on the recent spate of attacks on the film, the minister claimed that it was the handiwork of mafia. “They have put their monies in Lagaan and are envious of Gadar, an 18-crore film fully funded through white money, and which has managed to push Lagaan way behind in terms of collections,” the minister reasoned. He has forwarded his logical reasoning to Union home minister Mr L. K. Advani, minister of state for home, Mr Haren Pandya, state DGP Mr .K. Chakravarthi and others. The minister, who admitted that he has not watched Lagaan, has demanded adequate protection for the movie halls exhibiting Gadar.

Mr Vaghela said he had viewed the film with his family members and had found nothing objectionable. In fact, he found the film patriotic and had scenes that depicted how a handful of religious fanatics create communal tension. He said the film depicted how those who demanded a separate state of Pakistan where harming the interests of both the Hindu n Turn to Page 11
and Muslim communities.

Lauding the film, Mr Vaghela said it was in the class of other great films such as Mughal-e-Azam, Mother India, Sholay, Hum Aap Ke Hain Koun and Kaho Na Pyar Hai and the collections from the film would far surpass that of the other great films. Mr Vaghela said he was aware of attacks to disrupt the shows of Gadar at Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal, Ahmedabad and other places by Pakistani elements.

He also mentioned that the film showed how some Pakistani agents are operating in the country to harm its interests. However, the film is not targeting any particular community.

He further added some light on the competition going on between Lagaan and Gadar. Mr Vaghela said the film shows how the idea of creating Pakistan itself was foolish and alleged that the objections against the film were being raised by Pakistani elements on the payroll of ISI.

Mr Vaghela said the violence over the film reflects how the Pakistani elements, who are envious of the progress and the harmony in India, are employing mafia elements like Dawood Ibrahim to disrupt the peace. Moreover, it further shows how the mafia is out to prove its supremacy over the film industry.

He demanded that elements, who disrupted the show in Sarkhej should be remanded to get to the bottom of the controversy. Mr Vaghela said youth Congress members, who had disrupted the showing of the film in Madhya Pradesh, were suspended while the police had remanded the elements who disrupted peace for 15 days.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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Ek violent katha: State to pull up trouble makers Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Gandhinagar, June 25: The state government has taken a stern view of the incidents of arson at Sangam theatre, Ahmedabad on Sunday evening over the release of the movie Gadar, which has depicted scenes of partition during 1947.
Minister of state for home Haren Pandya on Monday said the state government would not hesitate to act firmly against elements or institutions seeking to take law and order in their hands by claiming that the movie has objectionable scenes.

The steps include arresting people attempting to create law and order problems. Mr Pandya on Monday expressed regret on the violence at Sangam theatre, which is screening the movie Gadar and likened the attack on the theatre as an anti-national activity which was against communal harmony, peace and security of the country.

Mr Pandya warned that the state government will not tolerate such communal and anti-social attacks under any circumstances and if necessary, will take all steps to keep the elements at bay.

Meanwhile, adequate security measures will be made at movie halls exhibiting Gadar in sensitive areas. Mr Pandya said a handful of anti-social elements are trying to fuel violence at a time when cinegoers are largely relishing the expressions of patriotism in the film.

He said police commissioners and DSPs have been given directions to collect information on anti-social elements attempting to disrupt law and order and to detain persons as precautionary measures. Directions have also been given to hold meetings with the hall owners, revenue and entertainment tax officials to take necessary steps.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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Sindoor scene in Gadar turned love story sour Tuesday, June 26, 2001

By Alok Pande and Tejas Patel, AsianAge
Ahmedabad, June 25: Muslims in the city are “disgusted” with a Jat applying sindoor on the head of a Muslim girl. Sunny Deol applying vermilion on Amisha Patel reportedly prompted the violence at Sangam cinema in Sarkhej area of the city on Sunday night. The theatre owners have discontinued the screening of the soured love story, Gadar-Ek Prem Katha.

“This will incur a daily loss of Rs 40,000 to us, but we have no option,” a beleaguered owner of the Sangam cinema, Mr Suryakant Patel told The Asian Age on Monday.

On Sunday night, when the sindoor scene was on during the last show, an irate mob indulged in violence and burnt the screen of the Sangam theatre and also set vehicles in the parking lot on fire.

The case has been registered under the Sarkhej police station under Section 143,435, 120(B). The police inspector of the Sarkhej police station, Mr M.C.Patel is investigating the case. The forensic team took the samples at the site of the incident and sniffer dogs were brought to the scene but no significant progress has been made till now.

Meanwhile, local residents in Sarkhej, a Muslim dominated area, are irked by what they call the censor board’s insensitivity in giving the screening certificate to the film. There was much anger among the local residents of some Muslim dominated areas against the film.

One of the youth requesting anonymity said, “Why does the government and the censor board gives certificate to such films in spite of the fact that they increase communal tension?” Another resident of the same locality, whose vehicle was burnt in the incident, said that he found the scene in which the hero who is a Jat (Sunny Deol) applies sindoor on the forehead of the Muslim girl (Amisha Patel), the most objectionable. “How can anyone show a non-Muslim guy applying sindoor on the forehead of a Muslim girl,” he asks. Similarly, a middle-aged man from the same area puts the whole blame on the BJP government and says, “The whole country has gone into the wrong hands and such incidents of communal tension are bound to be there as long as they are in power.”

The same anger was visible among the people residing in the Hindu dominated areas. The scene depicting indiscriminate slaughter of Hindus leaving Pakistan has raised tensions and it has increased their hatred against Pakistan. “The scene of the train carrying the massacred bodies coming to India from Pakistan raised my anger and hatred against Pakistan,” said a youngster who just came out after watching the movie from the Amber cinema hall. Another person, who also seemed to be influenced by the scene depicting the massacre of Indians, went on to say that the talks between India and Pakistan scheduled in July will definitely fail as war is the only solution to end the Kashmir tangle.”

On the other hand, the screening of the film went on smoothly in the other cinema halls of the city. There were no reports of any untoward incidents regarding the film in these cinema halls. “The film is going on house full and we do not have any problems, its just that some disgruntled elements are taking undue advantage of the situation to increase tension in the city,” said the manager of a well known cinema hall where the film is being screened. “There was no problem with the film and I don’t understand why people keep on fighting on irrelevant issues after 50 years of their occurrence, said one of the film enthusiast, who came to watch the film at Drive in cinema hall.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]

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