After a long wait, the Muzaffarpur police on Wednesday recommended closure of the case against those 49 celebrities who were booked for sedition of writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing anguish over rising incidents of mob lynching.
On the orders of Muzaffarpur chief judicial magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari, the FIR was filed last week and had led to widespread outrage with eminent personalities expressing anguish. Film personalities Aparna Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Anurag Kashyap, Mani Ratnam, and Soumitra Chatterjee and authors Ramachandra Guha and Amit Chaudhuri were among those booked by the Muzaffarpur police.
Earlier, on Tuesday, 185 other personalities, including Naseeruddin Shah, Mallika Sarabhai, Nayantara Sahgal, and Romila Thapar, issued a statement endorsing the letter.
Further, on Wednesday, Manoj Kumar Muzaffarpur SSP wrote to Bihar Police headquarters in Patna, promoting the case closure and seeking action against the petitioner Sudhir Kumar Ojha Muzaffarpur, civil court lawyer, for giving false information.
SSP Manoj Kumar confirmed to the media partners that he had sought closure of the sedition case. The SSP told in an interview with Times Of India,
"Yes, I have recommended closure of the case, finding it maliciously false during the course of investigation. The petitioner named some witnesses but he failed to produce them before the investigating officer. We have not found any evidence to go ahead with the sedition charges."
He added that within a day or two, the investigating officer in the case would file the final report in the local court. While taking down heavily on petitioner Ojha, Kumar said:
"It seem the case was filed without any rhyme or reason, and just to garner publicity."
ADG (headquarters) Jitendra Kumar stated that police had lodged the case following the CJM's order. He further stated in the statement-
“The complainant could not even produce before the Muzaffarpur SSP the letter written by the 49 personalities to support his claim.”
On Wednesday evening, Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi issued a statement clarifying that the Sangh Parivar and BJP and had nothing to do with the petition filed against the 49 personalities.
Sushil Modi said,
"A serial litigant filed a complaint against 49 personalities in the state based on a newspaper clipping and added sedition charges to it. That complainant has lodged a total of 715 PILs, including those against former PM Manmohan Singh, actor Amitabh Bachchan as well as me."
Ojha had filed the petition in the CJM's court on July 27, and on September 18, CJM Tiwari passed an order for lodging an FIR against the 49 personalities. And, last Thursday, the Muzaffarpur police filed the FIR.