PATNA — An FIR was lodged in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district on Thursday against celebrities including Bollywood actress Konkana Sen, director Maniratnam, Aparna Sen, Shayam Benegal, Ramchandra Guha and 45 others, for writing an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concern over the growing incidents of mob lynching, police said on Friday.
In the letter dated July 23, 2019 the celebrities had expressed grave concerns over the sharp rise of crime against minorities and Dalits. They said that “exemplary punishment” should be meted out “swiftly and surely” in such cases.
The police said the FIR was lodged in Sadar police station on Thursday, on the basis of an order by the local court, 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.
An advocate S. K. Ojha had filed a petition in the Chief Judicial Magistrate court, which after hearing the case ordered police to lodge an FIR against the celebrities.
He said that 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”.
The letter written and signed by celebrities had said that the lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately, while stressing that there was “no democracy without dissent”.
They have also highlighted in the letter that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a “provocative war-cry” in the present day which defiles the name of lord Ram. Being the Prime Minister of the country, he should stop misusing the name of Ram for the violence.
The celebrities also expressed their concerns in the letter over targeting the dissenters by the supporters of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).
(With inputs from IANS)