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Published On: Wed, Oct 9th, 2019

Bihar Police Dismiss Sedition Charge against 49 Celebrities

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endorse-letterPATNA: The Bihar police on Wednesday ordered the closure of a sedition case lodged against 49 acclaimed artists and intellectuals, including Ramachandra Guha, Mani Ratnam and Aparna Sen, who wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year seeking his intervention in the rising incidents of mob lynchings.
Muzaffarpur SSP Manoj Kumar Sinha said he had ordered that the case be closed as the investigation had so far revealed that the allegations levelled against the accused were out of “mischief” and “lacked substance”.
The Advocate who had who filed a case in a Bihar court against the 49 noted personalities who had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concern over the growing incidents of mob lynching in the country, has been charged by police for filing a false case.the petitioner .
The petitioner is known to be linked to Ramvilas Paswan’s  Lok Janshakti Party. Mr Paswan being an ally of the NDA, the case came as an embarrassment to the Nitish Kumar government, party sources
The police will file a prosecution against complainant Sudhir Kumar Ojha in court, a senior Bihar police official told today. Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Sinha said the order has been issued by him for closure of the case as the investigation so far has revealed that allegations were levelled against the accused out of “mischief” and “lacked substance”.
Police spokesperson Jitendra Kumar told that the chief of the district police has termed the case “maliciously false” and recommended action against petitioner. The case was filed “just to garner publicity,” he said.
ADG Headquarter Jitendra Kumar said the complainant was neither unable to produce supporting documents or evidence nor even the alleged letter written by the 49 persons, which may support his claim of commission of any offence.
The case of sedition against the celebrities had kicked up a controversy, with several politicians reacting to the development in dismay. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi had said that things had reached a stage where people are being arrested for speaking against Modi.
“On this and other circumstantial basis, the case is found to be false and an order has been issued by him to the investigating officer to submit final report — false. Along with this, finding this to be an intentional purpose of complainant, prosecution under sections 182 and 211 (relating to false information or false charge of offence) will be submitted against the complainant for lodging a false case,” the police statement added.
The FIR was lodged at the Sadar police station last week against 49 noted personalities, including historian Ramchandra Guha, Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen and Shyam Benegal, upon the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate which had forwarded a petition filed by Ojha.
The letter written by the celebrities had said that the lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately, while stressing there was “no democracy without dissent”. It also noted that the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan was reduced to a “provocative war cry”.
Ojha earlier said he had no objections to the celebrities writing letter to the prime minister. “But by getting it published in the media, they deliberately tried to tarnish the image of the PM and the country,” he was quoted as saying by ‘The Print’.
Last week, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was urged by his former associate and current RJD national vice president Shivanand Tiwary to intervene and get the case annulled.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi came out with a statement earlier in the day clarifying that his party or the Sangh Parivar did not have anything to do with the sedition case. Modi also dubbed Ojha, whom he did not mention by name, a “serial litigant” by whom he was also named as accused in a case a few years ago.

Today, Mr Kumar’s deputy, Sushil Modi, said he was also a victim of Sudhir Ojha’s habit of filing frivolous petitions against anyone and everyone of eminence. Terming him a “serial litigant”, Mr Modi, in a statement, said he files the cases against eminent people like former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, film icon Amitabh Bachman or actor Hrithik Roshan on basis of newspaper reports just to get publicity.

The police action comes a day after Mohan Bhagwat — chief of the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — said in his Vijaya Dashami address that society must act by “remaining within the limits of Constitution”, no matter what the “difference of opinion be, or howsoever provocative actions might have taken place”. (With Inputs From Agency).




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