Well-known filmmaker Mani Ratnam, writer and historian Ramachandra Guha, actor-director Aparna Sen and other eminent celebrities, who had written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concerns over the increasing incidents of mob lynchings in India, were booked in Bihar on Thursday (October 3).
The case was lodged by the police after a directive was passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari two months after a petition was 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”.
The letter signed by 49 personalities said, “Dear Prime Minister… The lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately. We were shocked to learn from the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) reports 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.
The FIR has been 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.
Film makers Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, actor Soumitra Chatterjee, vocalist Shubha Mudgal etc were some of the other celebrities who signed the letter.
(With inputs from agencies)