Police orders closure of sedition case against celebrities including Adoor Gopalakrishnan

PATNA: Bihar Police on October 9 ordered closure of a sedition case lodged against close to 50 acclaimed artists and intellectuals who wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year seeking his intervention in the rising incidence of mob lynching. Muzaffarpur SSP Manoj Kumar Sinha said 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". The FIR was lodged at the Sadar police station last week upon the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate which had forwarded a petition filed by local advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha.

Earlier, senior BJP leader and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar noted that the FIR was filed after a Bihar court's order on a petition. The government has not filed the FIR, Javadekar had added. "This has nothing to do with the BJP and the government. This is a canard that is always spread to defame the Modi government and used to give an impression that there is a choking of freedom of expression in a draconian fashion under it," Javadekar had said.

The FIR was lodged in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district against 49 intellectuals, including Aparna Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Ramchandra Guha, for alleged sedition after they wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against growing incidents of lynching. The case was registered after a chief judicial magistrate passed an order on a petition filed by a lawyer alleging that the writers had tarnished the image of the country. Several groups and opposition parties have targeted the Modi government over this.