An FIR has been lodged on Thursday in Bihar's Muzaffarpur against 49 celebrities, including Ramchandra Guha, Mani Ratnam and Aparna Sen, 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 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." He also said that they supported secessionist tendencies. The police said that the FIR was lodged under sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those relating to sedition, public nuisance, hurting religious feelings and insulting with an intent to provoke breach of peace.
Around 49 celebrities, including filmmakers Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, actor Soumitra Chatterjee as well as vocalist Shubha Mudgal have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming intolerance in the country under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In the letter dated July 23, the group of artists stated that they are 'deeply concerned' about a number of tragic events that have been happening in the country in recent times. Explaining their stance further, the letter claims that the lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately and that they were 'shocked' to learn that there have been no less than 840 instances of atrocities against Dalits in the year 2016 and that there has been a definite decline in the percentage of convictions. The letter also stressed that there was "no democracy without dissent". It noted that Jai Shri Ram had been reduced to a "provocative war cry".
Republic Media Network Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami confronted Aparna Sen, after she wrote the letter and exposed the lobby. As she was holding a press conference on the letter, she refused to answer any question by republic, exposing her selective outrage. Republic Media Network Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami asked her about the issues starting from Pehlu Khan to Kashmiri Pandits to Zaira Wasim where she was silent.
(with PTI inputs)