An FIR was lodged on Thursday against nearly 50 celebrities, including who had written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concern over the growing incidents of mob lynching, police said.
The case was lodged after an order was passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Surya Kant Tiwari two months ago on a petition filed by local advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha. “The CJM had passed the order on August 20, accepting my petition upon the receipt of which an FIR was lodged today at the Sadar police station here,” Ojha said.
He said nearly 50 signatories of the letter were named as accused in his petition in which they allegedly “tarnished the image of the country and undermined the impressive performance of the prime minister” besides “supporting secessionist tendencies”, agencies reported.
The police said the FIR was lodged under sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those relating to sedition, public nuisance, hurting religious feelings and insulting with intent to provoke breach of peace.
In the open letter to Modi, signed, among others, by filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Anurag Kashyap, Mani Ratnam, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Aparna Sen, Ketan Mehta, singer Shubha Mudgal, actors Soumitra Chatterjee and Konkona Sen Sharma, historians Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Partha Chatterjee and Ramchandra Guha, and writer Amit Chaudhury, states that lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately while stressing that there was no democracy without dissent. It also said that the slogan Jai Shri Ram has become a provocative war cry.
Mentioning the number of lynching cases the country has witnessed, the letter states “We were shocked to learn from the NCRB that there have been no less than 840 instances of atrocities against Dalits in the year 2016, and a definite decline in the percentage of convictions.”
“You have criticised such lynchings in Parliament Mr Prime Minister, but that is not enough! What action has actually been taken against the perpetrators?,” reads the letter dated 23rd July.
—India Legal Bureau