PATNA – The Bihar police have decided to close the sedition case against the 49 celebrities who wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July, asking that mob killing of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities be stopped immediately. A case will also be filed against the complainant – Sudhir Ojha, an advocate for filing frivolous complaints, the police said.
The sedition case against the celebrities – including actor and film-maker Aparna Sen, author Ramchandra Guha and film-maker Shyam Benegal — was filed last week, leading to a huge controversy.
Police spokesperson Jitendra Kumar told NDTV that the chief of the district police has termed the case “maliciously false” and recommended action against petitioner. The case was filed “just to garner publicity,” he said.
“The SSP recommenced closure of the case and action against the complainant for filing a false case without any rhyme or reason,” the officer said. “The investigating officer in the case will file the final report at the local court within a day or two,” he added.
The petitioner, Sudhir Ojha, is known to be linked to Ramvilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party. Mr Paswan being an ally of the NDA, the case came as an embarrassment to the Nitish Kumar government, party sources said.
Mr Kumar’s deputy, Sushil Modi, said he was also a victim of Sudhir Ojha’s habit of filing frivolous petitions against anyone and everyone of eminence. Terming him a “serial litigant”, Mr Modi, in a statement, said he files the cases against eminent people like former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, film icon Amitabh Bachman or actor Hrithik Roshan on basis of newspaper reports just to get publicity.
It would be wrong to drag the BJP or the RSS or target Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this matter, Sushil Modi had said.
The police action comes a day after Mohan Bhagwat — chief of the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — said in his Vijaya Dashami address that society must act by “remaining within the limits of Constitution”, no matter what the “difference of opinion be, or howsoever provocative actions might have taken place”.
On Sunday, the police had said that the government had nothing to do with the matter. State police chief Guptesvar Pandey told NDTV that it was done after an order from a court, which had asked the police to file the final report by in this matter by November 11.