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Newsman Bureau

Kolkata, 14 October: WAKING up late to the ever growing protest against the lynching of Muhammad Akhlaq at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, some 100-odd creative personalities from Bengal sent a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday.

On behalf of them, writer Nabaneeta Deb Sen said that they have sent the letter to the President demanding his intervention to dissuade the ever-growing religious intolerance and atmosphere of fear in the country.

The move comes a day after young Bengali poet Mandakranta Sen had on Tuesday announced that she was giving up the Sahaitya Academy Swarnajayanti Yuva Puraskar that was conferred on her in 2004, to register her protest against the attack on freedom of choice and expression across the country. Sen today sent a formal mail to Sahaitya Academy informing her decision.

The protest letter to the President has been signed by Sankha Ghosh, Nirendranath Chakraborty, Ashok Mitra, Kaushik Sen, Bani Basu, Shirshendu Mukherjee, Samaresh Majumdar, Rudraprashad Sengupta, Subodh Sarkar and several other leading creative personalities of Bengal.

In the letter they have stated that an ambiance of criminality was gradually gripping the country as is evident from the murder of noted academician M M Kalburgi in Karnataka and the lynching of Muhammad Akhlaq at Dadri for allegedly consuming beef.

Freedom of expression and choice, which are guaranteed by the Constitution, are under threat and this is not the motherland they want to see, the letter reads.