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Maliciously false: Police drop sedition case against 49 personalities

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Patna, Oct 09: The Bihar on Wednesday ordered closure of a sedition case lodged against nearly 50 celebrities who wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July, seeking his intervention in the rising incidence of mob lynching.

Aparna Sen, Mani Ratnam and Ramchandra Guha

The closure order has been issued by him for closure of the case as investigation so far revealed that allegations were levelled against the accused out of "mischief" and "lacked substance", said Muzaffarpur SSP Manoj Kumar Sinha

An FIR was lodged against nearly 50 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.

Open letter to Modi: FIR lodged against Ramachandra Guha, others

Nearly 50 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 FIR was lodged under sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those relating to sedition, public nuisance, hurting religious feelings and insulting with an intent to provoke breach of peace.

The letter was written by 49 eminent personalities, including filmmakers Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, actor Soumitra Chatterjee as well as vocalist Shubha Mudgal in July this year.

It had said that the lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately while stressing that there was "no democracy without dissent". It also noted that Jai Shri Ram had been reduced to a "provocative war cry".

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