New Delhi: Two days after an FIR was lodged against 49 celebrities for writing an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President MK Stalin on Saturday demanded that the sedition Charges against the intellectuals should be dropped as soon as possible.
“I demand to drop the sedition case against 49 intellectuals who wrote to Prime Minister on mob lynching,” he was said in Chennai.
On October 3, an FIR was lodged in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur against 49 celebrities, including Ramchandra Guha and Mani Ratnam, who had written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the growing incidents of mob lynching across the country.
The development comes 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.
Alleging that the open letter signed by nearly 49 eminent personalities is aimed at tarnishing the image of the country, Ojha had approached the court and said the move has undermined the impressive performance of Prime Minister Modi.
“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.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar clarified that the government has not filed any FIR against the 49 celebrities who had written an open letter to PM Modi. “Government has not registered any case,” Javadekar said.
As per reports, the celebrities were booked under various sections of the IPC including for sedition, public nuisance, hurting religious feelings and insulting with the intention to provoke breach of peace.
On July 23, a number of celebrities including Anurag Kashyap, Konkana Sen Sharma, Ramchandra Guha, Mani Ratnam, had written to PM Modi expressing concerns over growing cases of lynchings across the country. Following the letter, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap Ahad received a death threat on Twitter.
“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.
Meanwhile, filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who is among the 49 celebrities against whom an FIR has been lodged, said on Friday that the case makes no sense as it was written as an appeal and not as a threat that will disturb peace.
“The letter was just an appeal. Whatever the motive of the people, who are accepting the FIR and charging us with all kinds of things, it makes no sense to me. It was a letter appealing to the prime minister. It is not a threat or anything that will cause disturbance of peace or enmity between community,” he told PTI.