January 2020
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Bengal's personalities write open letter to Mamata
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 the 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 July 24 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, told PTI on Tuesday, "We condemn the incidents of violence in West Bengal".

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 lathicharge on the demonstration by para-teachers at Kalyani in Nadia district on August 17 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 thetare personality Sohag Sen.

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

"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.

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