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Bollywood Industry gets a taste of Punjabi actors and singer Jassie Gill




From singers to actors and comedians, Hindi showbiz has seen an increase in influx of young and talented Punjabi artistes over the past couple of years.

Last year, singer Jassie Gill made his acting debut in Bollywood with the film “Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi”. He is now gearing up for the release of another Hindi film titled “Panga”, which has Kangana Ranaut in the lead.

Directed by Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, “Panga” revolves around female kabaddi players and the trials they face.

On his shift from Punjabi to Hindi cinema, Jassie told IANS that he is on “learning mode” right now.

“It is my starting stage, so I am learning a lot now. It is a great industry and the best thing is that they welcome fresh talent with open arms. It is great that artistes from Punjab are getting a chance to showcase their talent and I am happy that the industry is open and welcoming the new talent.”

Punjabi singers and actors Ammy Virk and Harrdy Sandhu are also set to make their acting debut in Bollywood in Ranveer Singh-starrer “’83. The film, presented by Reliance Entertainment, is based on India’s iconic win in the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

They are currently busy training in Dharamsala for their roles.

“You all gave me so much love that I am all set to make my debut in Bollywood. Shukar Waheguru,” Ammy had tweeted.

Interestingly, both Ammy and Harrdy had marked their singing debut in Bollywood before their acting stint.

Ammy lent his voice to the song “Daryaa” in Anurag Kashyap’s “Manmarziyaan” in 2018, while Harrdy sang “Nachna aaonda nahin” for movie “Tum Bin 2” in 2016.

On the singing front, Punjabi singer B Praak recently made his debut in Hindi cinema.

He lent vocals to the “Teri Mitti” song for Akshay Kumar’s “Kesari”. The song even left made Akshay and producer Karan Johar teary-eyed.

Year 2019 will also see the entry of popular Punjabi actress Sonam Bajwa in Bollywood. She is a part of Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor-starrer dance based film “Street Dancer 3D”.

Talking of Punjabi talent creating waves in Bollywood, one can’t forget gems like Diljit Dosanjh, Badshah, Guru Randhawa and Honey Singh, who have succesfully carved their niche in the industry in the recent past.

In an earlier interview to IANS, singer-actor Diljit said he is proud to “represent his community” in Hindi showbiz.

In 2016, Diljit made his acting debut in Hindi cinema with Abhishek Chaubey’s “Udta Punjab”, and wooed the audience with his on-screen performance as well as song “Ikk kudi”. He bagged a kitty of Hindi film projects like “Phillauri” and “Soorma”, and he will now be seen in “Good News” and “Arjun Patiala”.

Diljit had once said that he had a notion that a “Sardar can’t be a succesful actor in Bollywood”, but looking at his popularity and credits, it seems he has been proven wrong.

On his Bollywood journey, Diljit said: “People told me to get rid of my turban or not become an actor. Back then I knew that I would be okay to give up films, but not my turban. But it has been very rewarding.

“The kind of trust such big filmmakers have vested in me to be a part of their projects is really been something that I value a lot.”

Diljit even became the first turbaned Sikh to get a wax statue at Madame Tussauds, proving that it’s ‘balle balle’ all the way for Punjabis in Bollywood.

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Tarun Tejpal rape trial hearing adjourned




The scheduled final argument in the rape trial against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal could not be conducted on Monday, because of a death in the judge’s family, special public prosecutor Francisco Tavora said.

Tavora also said that a fresh date for the completion of final arguments would be announced soon.

“The final argument of the prosecution was to take place today. For the whole day, the prosecution was supposed to argue, followed by the defence lawyers.

“After the final argument, the case was to be kept for final judgement, but it could not be held today because the judge’s mother passed away last night. The judge is on leave,” Tavora said.

“The case has been adjourned for a future date,” he also said.

In 2013, Tejpal was accused of allegedly raping a colleague at a five star resort in North Goa.

He was subsequently chargesheeted under sections under sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code.

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End minority status for Muslims: Sakshi Maharaj



New Delhi: BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj at Parliament, in New Delhi on July 31, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Unnao, Sakshi Maharaj, known for his controversial remarks, has now said that “as there are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan, their minority status should be abolished”.

Sakshi was addressing a function in Unnao on Saturday.

He said, “There is more Muslim population in India than Pakistan, therefore the minority status of the Muslims should be abolished with immediate effect. Muslims should now consider themselves to be the younger siblings of the Hindus and live with them in the country.”

Speaking over the rising population of the country, Sakshi said, “Soon a bill would be tabled in Parliament to check the increasing population. Those who will have more than two children, will be deprived from contesting elections.”

The BJP MP further attacked the opposition parties on the farmers’ ongoing protest against farm laws, and said, “The government is ready to talk about the farm laws.”

He lashed out at the Congress, saying that “like the Ram temple, the Congress and other political parties should appeal in the Supreme Court on the agricultural bill. Rather, they are firing guns from the shoulders of innocent farmers’ shoulders”.

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Army officer’s 9-year efforts pay off as ULFA insurgent surrenders




In a major setback to insurgency in the north-east, a deputy commander-in-chief of ULFA (I) surrendered along with his four bodyguards, a culmination of nine years of persistent efforts in this regard by a young officer of the Military Intelligence.

Official sources said that Drishti Rajkhowa, also known as ‘Major Rabha’ or ‘Drishti Asom’ from the banned insurgent organisation, surrendered on late Wednesday night at the Red Horns Division of the Indian Army.

Rajkhowa, an RPG expert responsible for several attacks in the northeast, is a close confidant of ULFA (Independent) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah who has been hiding in China. Rajkhowa was the commander of 109 Battalion of ULFA (I) until 2011 when Baruah promoted him as his deputy.

This surrender has caused a severe blow to Baruah, ULFA (I), its cadres and the organisation’s nefarious design in the region, the sources added.

On the directions of his chief, Rajkhowa became the mastermind behind gun-running in north-eastern states and even in Bangladesh, sources said. He was hiding in Mymensingh city of Bangladesh, around 120 km north of Dhaka.

One the primary suppliers of firearms to various insurgent groups, he used to frequently shuttle between Garo Hills in Meghalaya and Bangladesh for this purpose, sources said. He was regarded as an honorary leader by the Garo insurgents.

Rajkhowa has survived many encounters, with the last one as recent as October 20 this year. Sources said that his surrender before the Army is a great success for the central government, given its persistent efforts to eradicate insurgency in the region.

The sources pointed out that the surrender is a result of the hard work, dedication and nine years of sincere efforts put in by the MI officer and swift planning by the Military Intelligence.

The young MI Captain had got in touch with the dreaded insurgent in 2011 and maintained his communication channel with him despite multiple transfers. All these years, the officer ignored his personal safety and encouraged the insurgent to surrender and come into the mainstream and facilitate it for others too, the sources said.

With his numerous conversations the officer was able to soften the rigid view of the insurgent and managed to convince him that insurgency is the biggest hurdle in the path of prosperity of the people in the region, the sources said. Finally, Rajkhowa was convinced and agreed to surrender on Wednesday.

The MI staff in Delhi crafted a surrender plan under the supervision of Director General of MI (DGMI) after much deliberations to meet the security and safety requirements peculiar to the case. The plan was executed on ground with the support of Meghalaya-based Red Horns Division of the Army.

On November 11, around midnight, the operation was launched. Rajkhowa surrendered along with his four bodyguards, and gave up one AK-81 assault rifle and two pistols. Subsequently, they were taken to an undisclosed safer location, the sources said.

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