Bengali actor claims to have received death threat for raising voice against lynching
Actor Kaushik Sen, who is one of the signatories to the letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of mob violence, said on Thursday that he has received a threat call.
Police have been informed about it and the phone number has been forwarded to them, he 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," Sen told PTI.
A senior police officer said the matter was being looked into. "To be honest, I am not bothered about such calls. I have also informed other signatories about the call and forwarded them the number," Sen said. A group of 49 eminent personalities, including filmmakers, authors and actors, wrote to the prime minister on Tuesday, expressing concern over the recent instances of mob violence and lynching in the country.
The signatories also said that they regretted that "Jai Shri Ram" has been reduced to a "provocative war cry that leads to law and order problems, and lynchings take place in its name".
"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..." the letter said.
According to the letter, data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) showed there were 840 instances of atrocities against Dalits in 2016, and "a definite decline in the percentage of convictions".
Award-winning filmmaker Aparna Sen, who is one of the signatories and took part in a press conference about the letter on Wednesday, also said it had nothing to do with politics.
"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 letter, which was also signed by filmmakers Mani Ratnam, Shyam Benegal and Anurag Kashyap among others, continued.
The letter also raised the issue of the "Jai Shri Ram" chant, alleging that it had become a "provocative 'war-cry'" that led to law and order problems.
Letter signed by social activists, filmmakers and artists like Adoor Gopalkrishnan, Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, Binayak Sen, Soumitro Chatterjee, Aparna Sen states: "Ram is sacred for the majority community, stop defiling the name of Ram."
(With inputs from PTI)