On Thursday, October 3, an FIR was lodged against nearly 50 celebrities in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, who had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about their concern over the growing incidents of mob lynching in the country.
The case was lodged after Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari passed an order two months ago on a petition that local advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha filed.
“The CJM had passed the order on 20 August, accepting my petition upon the receipt of which an FIR was lodged today at the Sadar police station here,” quoted Ojha as saying.
Ojha said that nearly 50 signatories of the letter were accused as they allegedly “tarnished the image of the country and undermined the impressive performance of the prime minister” besides “supporting secessionist tendencies”.
According to police, the FIR was lodged under the section of the Indian Penal Code that includes sedition, public nuisance, hurting religious feelings and insulting with the intention to provoke breach of peace.
49 eminent personalities wrote the letter, including Ramchandra Guha, Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen, Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, actor Soumitra Chatterjee, vocalist Shubha Mudgal, in July this year.
The letter said that lynching of minorities including Dalits and Muslims should be stopped immediately, and stressed that there was “no democracy without dissent”.
It further claimed that the slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’ had been reduced to a “provocative war cry”.
The last few months have seen an increase in the number of mob lynchings. Several innocent people have been forced to chant Jai Shri Ram and beaten to death. A number of Dalits have been killed for reasons like eating next to an upper-caste man. The most recent case has been that of Tabrez Ansari, who was beaten to death for alleged theft. A video of the incident, where he was made to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, had gone viral.
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