New Delhi: Anurag Kashyap, Konkana Sen Sharma, Ramchandra Guha, Mani Ratnam, Ashis Nandy, Shubha Mudgal were among the eminent filmmakers, historians, sociologists, artists who wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday expressing their concerns over growing cases of lynchings and suppression of dissent.

They said that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a provocative ‘war cry’ today that leads to law and order problems, and many lynchings take place in its name.

“We were shocked to learn from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 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.

They also asked the Prime Minister to put a stop to the name of Ram being defiled in this manner.

Through the letter, they said that people should not be branded “anti-national” or “urban Naxal” and incarcerated because of dissent against the government.

“You have criticized such lynchings in Parliament Mr Prime Minister, but that is not enough! What action has actually been taken against the perpetrators? We strongly feel that such offences should be declared non-bailable and that exemplary punishment should be meted out swiftly and surely,” read the letter.

If life imprisonment without parole can be the sentence in case of murder, why not for lynchings, which are even more heinous?

The letter was signed by 49 people which included names like Shyam Benegal, Ketan Mehta, Sumit Sarkar, Aparna Sen and Chitra Sarkar.