The advocate who filed a sedition case against 49 celebrities who wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against mob lynchings has now filed a protest petition in a Muzaffarpur court against the police, PTI reported on Thursday. The Bihar Police had said on Wednesday that the sedition case was “maliciously false” and would be closed soon.
Sudhir Kumar Ojha, in the fresh petition filed before Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari, alleged the police acted “under political pressure”. He asked the court to monitor the case or hand it over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
“The FIR [against the celebrities] was lodged on my complaint,” Ojha told reporters. “The date of hearing for my protest petition has been fixed as November 11. The police has to submit its closure report before the court where I would oppose the same.”
The police had also said on Wednesday that the complainant will be charged with filing frivolous complaints. The petitioner is linked with Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, which is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre.
On Wednesday, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, a BJP leader, claimed he was also a victim of Ojha’s habit of filing frivolous petitions against famous personalities. Sushil Modi also said it would be wrong to target the prime minister, BJP or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in this matter.
The 49 signatories of the letter 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.
In their letter to Modi in July, the public personalities had claimed that the “Jai Shri Ram” slogan had become a “provocative war cry” and the reason for a number of lynchings. 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.
The Centre has twice in the last week denied that it had any role in filing the sedition case. On Tuesday, Union minister Prakash Javadekar claimed that the “tukde-tukde gang” was behind the rumour that the government had a role in filing the petition.
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