New Delhi: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has clarified that the government did not file FIR against the 49 celebrities who wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the rising instances of mob lynching in the country.

“Government has not registered any case,” said Javadekar as quoted by news agency ANI. Notably, Ramchandra Guha, Aparna Sen, filmmakers Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap and Shyam Benegal, actor Soumitra Chatterjee, vocalist Shubha Mudgalare are some of the celebrities against whom the FIR was allegedly filed. These 49 eminent personalities had written the letter in July this year.

Two months ago, Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari passed an order on a plea filed by local advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha. After this the FIR was filed against nearly 50 signatories of the letter under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including charges relating to sedition, public nuisance, hurting religious feelings and insulting with an intent to provoke breach of peace, said the police.

“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,” stated the local advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha as per news agency PTI.

Ojha’s petition further said that the celebrities had allegedly “tarnished the image of the country and undermined the impressive performance of the prime minister” in addition to “supporting secessionist tendencies”.

The open letter noted that that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a provocative ‘war cry’ that leads to law and order problems. It further said there was “no democracy without dissent”.

“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 letter read.