Aparna Sen, others write open letter to Mamata Banerjee over 'violent incidents'; urge CM to resolve teachers' protest in 'democratic manner'

  • Ten personalities of West Bengal, including Aparna Sen, have written an open letter to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressing anxiety over recent violent incidents

  • It also noted with concern that the administration has been resorting to undemocratic means of quashing protests by the use of police brutality

  • It referred to the police lathi-charge on the demonstration by para-teachers at Kalyani in Nadia district on 17 August to press for increasing their salaries

Kolkata: Ten personalities of West Bengal, including filmmaker Aparna Sen, have written an open letter to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressing anxiety over recent violent incidents in the state.

It also noted with concern that the administration has been resorting to undemocratic means of quashing protests by the use of police brutality.

The signatories of the letter were among the 49 who had written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 July  in which they had voiced their concerns over alleged rise in incidents of mob lynching across the country triggering questions on their silence during incidents of violence in West Bengal.

Actor Kaushik Sen, who is one of the signatories to the letter, said on Tuesday, "We condemn the incidents of violence in West Bengal".

 Aparna Sen, others write open letter to Mamata Banerjee over violent incidents; urge CM to resolve teachers protest in democratic manner

File photo of filmmaker Aparna Sen. Courtesy: IBN Live

The letter, which was sent to Banerjee on Monday, said, "We would like to draw your attention to some extremely violent incidents that have recently taken place in West Bengal."

It referred to the police lathi-charge on the demonstration by para-teachers at Kalyani in Nadia district on 17 August to press for increase in their salaries and urged her to resolve their agitation. Some of the demonstrators had also been arrested by the police.

The letter written by 'Citizens Speak India' said, "We strongly condemn this attack by the police on educationists and earnestly request you to resolve the issue in a democratic manner at the earliest.

"We have been noticing with a great deal of anxiety that instead of trying to resolve the peaceful democratic protests of teachers of this state through sane dialogue and debate, the administration has been resorting to undemocratic means of quashing these protests by the use of police brutality," the letter read.

The other signatories of the letter to Banerjee were actors Parambrata Chatterjee, Riddhi Sen, the youngest to have won the national award for the best actor, activist Bolan Gangopadhyay, commentator and social worker Mudar Patherya and theatre personality Sohag Sen.

The letter alleged that a member of 'Actors United', an organisation of theater actors, was beaten up by unknown assailants at Dum Dum area of Kolkata on 15 August.

"We feel that such incidents are, in effect, an attack on all artistes propagating free thought and should be condemned with the same severity as any case of lynching anywhere else in India," it added.

There should be free space for artistes and individuals to profess and espouse their views and thoughts. There should not be intimidation or coercion, anywhere in the country, it said.

"We request the state administration to identify and punish the perpetrators as swiftly as possible," Kaushik Sen said.

Updated Date: Aug 20, 2019 23:03:56 IST