“We are horrified at the callous lack of support and apathy of the state in finding and bringing the culprits to justice. The stifling atmosphere of fear and uncertainty is fatal to the freedom of expression that is at the heart of our shared lives, and it is for the restoration of this common fabric that we urge you to intervene,” the letter said.
Among the 94 personalities who have signed the letter are poets Sankha Ghosh, Nirendranath Chakraborty, economists Ashok Mitra and Amiya Bagchi, theatre and film actor Kaushik Sen, authors Nabaneeta Deb Sen, Bani Basu, Shirshendu Mukherjee, Samaresh Majumdar, theatre maestro Rudraprasad Sengupta and painter Wasim Kapoor.
Citing the killing of rationalists Narendra Dhabolkar and M.M. Kalburgi, and the lynching of Muhammad Akhlaq at Dadri for allegedly consuming beef, they said that the freedom of expression and choice were under threat.
“We appeal to you to take firm and immediate steps to combat this well-planned conspiracy to endanger Indian democracy,” they said.