A private complaint has been filed by lawyer Sardar Parvinder Singh against National Award-winning actor Prakash Raj in a Lucknow court on Wednesday, 4 October, over his recent comments against Narendra Modi. This case will be heard on 7 October.
On 1 October, the actor had said that Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and Modi were "more deserving" of his five National Awards, because they were "better actors". Additionally, he also criticised the Prime Minister for being silent on the murder of right-wing critic Gauri Lankesh, and for not denouncing those who were rejoicing the killing. These comments were made at the 11th State meet of the Democratic Youth Federation of India.
"We do not know who killed them (slain journalists). But we do know who is celebrating the murders. When you see that the prime minister of the country is following (on Twitter) those who are celebrating the murders, when he is not taking a stand against it, when he has maintained silence on the issue, that silence hurts," he said. The actor is known to be a close friend of Gauri Lankesh.
In a video that Prakash Raj subsequently uploaded on his social media accounts, he clarified his stance, saying that his remark was in good humour and that it was blown out of proportion. He added that he was not going to return his awards, but reiterated the point about Modi's silence regarding Gauri Lankesh's murder.
What's said...n what's not said. For all out there .. thank you pic.twitter.com/zIT7rnkFxb
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) October 2, 2017
In an interview to The Hindu, the actor spoke about the trolling and backlash he has faced for his comments. "I’m not anti-Modi. He is my Prime Minister chosen by a majority. I don’t consider Mr Modi as the leader of a political party. He now represents the country and every citizen. He is the head of a secular nation. I have differences with Mr Modi on certain issues. I’m paying the price for being honest and democratic enough to express them. I’m not a coward," he said. He asserted that he will continue to exercise his democratic rights by expressing his views.
Also read on Firstpost: Prakash Raj slams Narendra Modi: What prompted the apolitical actor's recent outburst
On 4 October, Karnataka home minister Ramalinga Reddy confirmed that the investigating team probing the murder of Gauri Lankesh had made significant progress in the case and have gathered crucial leads. Speaking to reporters in Chikkaballapura, he said, "We have got clues, but we cannot tell things to the media for now because we should have correct evidence for the clues we have got."
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