A group of actors and activists, including actor-director Aparna Sen, wrote an open letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday, drawing her attention towards two recent incidents of attacks on teachers and a theatre artiste in the state.
The letter, written on behalf of Citizen Speak India, described both the incidents as attack on all artistes propagating free thought and added such incidents should be condemned with the same severity as lynching.
Sen was among the 49 celebrities who had written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on rising mob lynching cases across the country.
Monday’s letter mentions a police lathi charge on a group of teachers protesting at Kalyani in Nadia district on August 17. The contractual teachers were demanding a salary hike and upgrade as permanent staff.
“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… by the use of police brutality. On August 19, today, the hunger strike… at Subodh Mallick Square by part-time teachers of colleges and universities was forcibly stopped by the police and some… were picked up,” read the letter.
The letter also highlights an alleged attack on a theatre artiste by unidentified men in Dum Dum on August 15. “On August 15, 2019, three small street plays were enacted at the initiative of ‘Actors United’ in front of a gathering united against communalism and fundamentalism at Academy of Fine Arts complex. Shubhankar Das Sharma, a member of Actors United, was attacked… while returning home…,” it added
Actors Koushik Sen, Parambrata Chattopadhyay and Riddhi Sen were among the signatories.