'Was it publicity stunt?': Juhi Chawla addresses 5G lawsuit allegations
Actress Juhi Chawla has finally reacted to her plea against the setting up of 5G wireless networks in the country and its subsequent dismissal by the Delhi High Court. She issued a statement and posted a detailed video explaining what were her demands. The actress went on to narrate her 11-year-long battle against cell tower radiation and its effect on living beings. Here's more.
To give a refresher, Chawla had approached the court in May, stating 5G wireless networks could "provoke serious, irreversible effects on humans," among other effects on various ecosystems. Hence, before telecommunication companies introduce 5G in India, authorities must certify that it is safe.
Chawla's statement noted she was "left feeling hurt and confused" after the court quashed her petition in June. Calling the complaint "defective and non-maintainable," the HC had imposed a Rs. 20L fine too. "On one hand, I received some bad press and publicity, on the other, I received heartwarming messages from unknown people telling me they were genuinely and completely in support," she wrote.
The 53-year-old said she had remained silent for so long "because I believe silence has its own deafening sound." But now, the Ishq actress added, "I'd like to bring forth some very important and shocking details of happenings in my 11-year journey of discovering EMF (electronic magnetic field) radiation, its health effects, and the glaring ignorance of certain authorities in this regard."
In a nearly 15-minute-long video, Chawla then specified she wasn't against technological advancement but wanted the authorities to certify it safe. The Bhoothnath star had filed Right To Information (RTI) applications in 2019 and 2020 asking about harmful effects of the radiations. Replying, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) had said that no such 5G-specific report was available in the public domain.
The environmentalist mentioned how she had discovered 14 cell towers suddenly plopping up in a guest house near her residence back in 2010. She got radiation frequency at her house checked by a Hyderabad agency then, when the scale reached "the highest level." The agency said in its report that being exposed to such radiation for a prolonged duration could affect in several ways.
Thereafter, Chawla and her neighbor filed an RTI application about the towers, and 13 of the 14 mobile towers were removed within a few days, and were found to be illegally constructed. After this, she started helping others. Besides approaching courts, the actress had also gone to the Parliamentary Standing Committee with this issue. She ended by asking if she was wrong.