Members of the Students Federation of India and the Democratic Youth Federation of India – the student and youth organisations of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – in Kerala have sent 1.5 lakh copies of the open letter that 49 eminent personalities had written to Narendra Modi in July, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
They are protesting against the first information report filed against the public figures who had written to the prime minister about mob attacks and lynchings. They dared Modi to book them for sending the letter as well. “If they feel the 49 signatories are traitors, please go ahead and book all of us who have sent the same letter,” said DYFI State Secretary AA Rahim. “We are ready to fill the jails for this cause.”
Each of the two organisations will be sending Modi one lakh copies of the letter. The SFI has already sent one lakh copies to the prime minister by post while DYFI members have mailed at least 50,000 copies. “We managed to meet the target [of mailing one lakh copies] so quickly as all our units [educational institutions] responded very well in spite of the Puja holidays,” SFI State Secretary KM Sachin Dev told The Telegraph on Monday. “Whatever extra copies our members manage to send will be a bonus,” Dev said, adding that it was a campaign against “the anti-democratic BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party]”.
DYFI secretary Rahim said they will send one lakh letters soon after the holidays. “The case against our intellectuals is part of a larger plan to destroy our Constitution and its values,” Rahim told The Telegraph. “By denying the rights enshrined in the Constitution, the BJP and the RSS are planning to silence those who speak against their fascist policies.”
In their letter to Modi in July, the public figures had claimed that the “Jai Shri Ram” slogan had become a “provocative war cry” and the reason for a number of lynchings. A lawyer, Sudhir Kumar Ojha, who claimed that the letter had “tarnished India’s image” and “undermined the impressive performance of the prime minister”, had filed a complaint, after which an FIR was filed.
According to unidentified police officials, the FIR was lodged in Muzaffarpur district under Indian Penal Code sections related to sedition, public nuisance, hurting religious feelings and insulting with an intent to provoke breach of peace. The charges were reportedly registered after an order by Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari, who ruled on a petition filed by advocate Ojha.
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