An FIR was lodged on October 3, 2019, against 49 celebrities, including Ramchandra 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 of minorities, police said.
The case was lodged pursuant to an order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari two months ago on a petition filed by an 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 49 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 petition was filed under Sections 124A (sedition)
, 153B (assertions prejudicial to national integration)
, 290 (public nuisance)
, 297 (trespass to wound religious feelings)
and 504 (intentional insults)
of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
, ANI reported. On July 23, 2019, 49 personalities, including filmmakers Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal and Aparna Sen as well as vocalist Shubha Mudgal and historian Ramchandra Guha, had expressed concern at the number of “religious identity-based hate crimes”.
They sought stronger action against such cases by also noting that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a provocative war cry with many lynching incidents taking place in its name.