Actor Kaushik Sen, one of the signatories who wrote an open letter to the PM on Tuesday requesting him to interfere in the incidents of lynching and alleged war cry over “Jai Shri Ram” has claimed that he received a death threat.
Kaushik Sen, during an interview, said “Yesterday I received a call from an unknown number, where I was threatened of dire consequences if I don't stop raising my voice against lynchings and intolerance. I was told that I would be killed if I don't mend my ways.”
A senior police official said that the suspected threat was being investigated.
Mr. Sen further added “To be honest, I am not bothered about such calls. I have also informed other signatories about the call and forwarded them the number.”
Tabrez Ansari, 24, was killed in a mob attack in Jharjhan last month, and this incident was brought into the focus by the personalities who addressed the letter to the PM and argued that “Human lynching is our primary concern. Our objection is against the lynchings be it at against Muslims or Hindus.”
The letter stated “Dear Prime Minister… The lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately. You have criticised such lynchings in parliament Mr Prime Minister, but that is not enough... We strongly feel that such offences should be declared non-bailable…”
According to the letter, the data which was collected from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) showed that there were 840 events which targeted Dalits and killed them in 2016. The data also showed a prominent number of declining percentage of convictions.
Critically acclaimed award winner and filmmaker Aparna Sen is also one of the personalities who signed the letter, and also participated in the press conference said that the letter had nothing to do with the politics.
The letter was also signed by Mani Ratnam, Shyam Benegal, and Anurag Kashyap among others, and also said “The lynchings of minorities is wrong. It is not about party or politics. Our letter has no political colour. We just want him (PM Modi) to intervene.”
The Prime Minister in the month of June had convicted in parliament the lynching of Tabrez Ansari. He also said that all the incidents of violence, irrespective of the place should be treated the same way and the criminals of violence should be taught that the entire nation was one on this issue.
The letter also highlighted the issue of “Jai Shri Ram” chant, asserting that it had become a provoking war-cry which led to other problems of law and order in the country.
The letter continued “It is shocking that so much violence should be perpetrated in the name of religion! These are not the Middle Ages! The name of Ram is sacred to many in the majority community of India. As the highest Executive of this country, you must put a stop to the name of Ram being defiled in this manner.”
Another actor of the Bollywood, Swara Bhaskar supported the authors who wrote the letter and said that “lynching has become an epidemic in the country.”
She said “mob lynching had become an epidemic in the country today and I don't think that we can turn our face away from this harsh reality. There's no point in falsifying it.”
She appreciated and applauded the artists, filmmakers, and writers who seem to be affected by everything that goes on in society. She also said that a strong law is the need of the hour to stop the tragic events.
She further added “I have been trying to talk on the issue of mob lynching for the past 3-4 years and even asked for a Manav Suraksha Kanoon. But it's sad that things have got worse rather than improving. It is very important that district authorities, where such incidents happen, take full accountability in the matter. I believe that the PM who has the power to do it will look into the matter.”