Celebrities, who wrote to Modi about mob-lynching, charged with SEDITION
An FIR has been registered against celebrities, including filmmakers Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen, and historian Ramachandra Guha, who wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over rising incidents of mob lynching. Almost two months ago, a lawyer from Bihar's Muzaffarpur, Sudhir Kumar Ojha, filed a petition against the celebrities. On Thursday, a case was registered on orders of Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Kant.
In July, 49 celebrities shot off a letter to PM Modi complaining about the prevailing situation in the country, urging him to take concrete action against perpetrators. Reminding about India's secular fabric, they wrote, "Dear Prime Minister. We, as peace-loving and proud Indians, are deeply concerned about a number of tragic events that have been happening in recent times in our beloved country."
Those who signed the letter included Adoor Gopalkrishnan, Anurag Kashyap, Binayak Sen, Soumitro Chatterjee, Konkana Sen Sharma, Revathy, Shyam Benegal, Shubha Mudgal, Rupam Islam, Anupam Roy, Parambrata, and Riddhi Sen, among others.
The document miffed Ojha, who saw it as an attempt to malign the country's reputation and Modi's "impressive" performance. Promptly, he took legal action. Confirming the development, he said, "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." Reportedly, IPC sections concerning sedition have been evoked.
Interestingly, almost all the cases filed against renowned faces in Bihar have been filed by Ojha. He has dragged several personalities to courts, including Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Raveena Tandon, Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Salman Khan, and even former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh (for awarding Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar).
"We have been seeing dharnas but they never yield any result. So I decided to pursue law as career to use it as a tool to nail law-breakers. It does not matter whosoever or howsoever high he or she may be," Ojha said years ago.
Meanwhile, the letter which 49 celebrities wrote prompted another batch of personalities to pen a "response". Actress Kangana Ranaut, CBFC Chairman Prasoon Joshi, filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar, and Vivek Agnihotri, etc. slammed their "selective outrage" and accused them of foisting a "false narrative". "We would urge everyone to condemn lynching, discrimination, and desecration of religious places with equal vehemence when they occur," they had said.