FIR against 50 for Open Letter to PM

FIR against 50 for Open Letter to PM
(L-R) Shyam Benegal, Ramachandra Guha, Anurag Kashyap and Aparna Sen. (File)
MUZAFFARPUR, OCT 4 | Publish Date: 10/4/2019 11:06:20 AM IST

An FIR was lodged in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur on Thursday against nearly 50 celebrities, including Ramachandra 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” besides “supporting secessionist tendencies”. The police said 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.

The letter was written by 49 eminent personalities, including filmmakers Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, actor Soumitra Chatterjee as well as vocalist Shubha Mudgal in July this year.

It had said that the lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately, while stressing that there was “no democracy without dissent”. It also noted that Jai Shri Ram had been reduced to a “provocative war cry”.

Rahul hits out at Modi govt over FIR
Anyone who said anything against Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the government was put behind bars, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged on Friday, a day after an FIR was filed against nearly 50 celebrities who wrote an open letter to PM Narendra Modi on incidents of mob lynching.
Gandhi said it was not a secret anymore that the country was moving towards an authoritarian state, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should tell the country why had he “destroyed” the economy and created “massive joblessness”.
“Everybody knows what is going on in the country. It is not a secret. In fact, the whole world knows it. We are moving towards an authoritarian state...,” Rahul Gandhi told reporters.
“Anybody who says anything against the prime minister, anybody who raises anything against the government is being put in jail and attacked. 
The media is crushed. Everybody knows what is going on. This is not a secret,” he said.

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