New Delhi: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the cases against filmmaker Payal Kapadia, who won at the Cannes Film Festival last week, and other students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) for staging a protest objecting the appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairperson in 2015.

Kapadia became the first Indian director to win the Grand Prix, the second most prestigious award after the Palme d’Or at the Cannes, when she was awarded for her debut movie ‘All We Imagine As Light’ on Saturday.

Lauding her achievement, PM Modi posted on his personal ‘X’ account on Sunday, “India is proud of Payal Kapadia for her historic feat of winning the Grand Prix at the 77th Cannes Film Festival for her work ‘All We Imagine as Light’. An alumnus of FTII, her remarkable talent continues to shine on the global stage, giving a glimpse of the rich creativity in India. This prestigious accolade not only honours her exceptional skills but also inspires a new generation of Indian filmmakers. (sic)”

Tharoor, responding to the PM’s tweet, posted on his ‘X’ account on Tuesday, “Modi ji, if India is proud of her, should your government not immediately #WithdrawTheCases against her and fellow FTII students protesting against your government’s arbitrary appointment of an unqualified Chairman? (sic)”

Kapadia and other students of the FTII, which is under the administration of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, had protested in 2015 opposing the appointment of Hindi film actor and BJP member Chauhan, citing the actor’s lack of qualifications to lead the institute as their reason for objection, and had demanded that Chauhan be replaced with a better qualified chairperson. Pune Police had booked the protesting students for unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation and rioting. The FTII administrative board cut off the scholarships of the students and also debarred eight of the students, including Kapadia, from participating in a foreign exchange program that would help them participate in international film festivals.

Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookuty has also put forth the demand that the case against the young director be withdrawn, posting on his Instagram account, “FTII must now withdraw the cases against Payal and the other students. It owes them the prestige that has been bestowed upon it.”

He pointed in a second post on social media that Kapadia, who is accused number 25 in the 2015 case, had to appear in court for a hearing after returning from the film festival.

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Mysuru: Four people sustained injuries on Monday afternoon when a wall at the back of the Olympia Theater collapsed, causing debris to fall onto street saree vendors in Onduvare Anna Lane.

The injured individuals, identified as Satish, Tabrez, Harman, and Shakib, were taken to KR Hospital, where they are currently receiving medical treatment.

The Olympia Theater, an aging structure built with mud, has fallen into disrepair. Screenings at the theater had been suspended, and renovations were underway to repurpose the building for a clothing business.

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Recounting the incident, Satish, one of the injured vendors, said, "The incident took place between 12:45 and 1:00 PM. Suddenly, the wall fell on us, and the two boys were buried under the mud. Another youth was injured while rescuing them."

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