Actor Kaushik Sen, one of the signatories to the letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against mob lynchings, told PTI on Thursday that he had received a death threat. Sen said he had forwarded to the Kolkata Police the number from which he received the threat.
“Yesterday I received a call from an unknown number, where I was threatened of dire consequences if I do not stop raising my voice against lynchings and intolerance,” Sen told PTI. “I was told that I would be killed if I don’t mend my ways. To be honest, I am not bothered about such calls. I have also informed other signatories about the call and forwarded them the number.”
An unidentified senior police officer told the news agency that the matter was being investigated.
Sen was part of a group of filmmakers, activists and academics who wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday about the “number of tragic events in recent times”. The letter said the slogan “Jai Shri Ram” had become a “provocative war cry” and the reason behind many lynchings in the country. “Regrettably ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a provocative ‘war-cry’ today that leads to law and order problems, and many lynchings take place in its name,” it read.
“The lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately,” the signatories to the letter urged Modi. “We were shocked to learn from the NCRB [National Crime Records Bureau] reports that there have been no less than 840 instances of atrocities against Dalits in the year 2016, and a definite decline in the percentage of convictions... 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...”
The 49 signatories include filmmakers Aparna Sen, Anurag Kashyap, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mani Ratnam, Shyam Benegal, historian Ramachandra Guha, author Amit Chaudhuri, scholar Ashis Nandy and actor Konkona Sen Sharma.