As many as 150 former judges, bureaucrats, army officers and academicians have written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind over the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters, stating that “false and motivated” campaign is being pitched against the law, the National Population Register (NPR) and NRC to harm the nation.
The signatories have urged the centre to look into the ongoing protests with all seriousness, and has requested the government to safeguard the nation’s democratic institutions and take stern action against people behind them.
The signatories of the letter, include 11 former judges of different high courts, 24 retired IAS officers, 11 former Indian Foreign Service officers, 16 retired IPS and 18 former Lieutenant Generals.
“This (protests) has grave security implications and does not bode well for our motherland. While ostensibly claiming to oppose government policies, they are in effect designed to destroy the very fabric of this country and harm the nation’s unity and integrity,” they said.
The signatories have said the campaign is being carried out in a “coordinated manner”, intended at leading violent protests where public as well as private property has been destroyed.
According to the signatories, a “false and nefarious narrative” about CAA, NPR and NRC has been spread across the country.
They said that while the CAA has been enacted, the idea of NPR and NRC which has been a part of the Indian discourse since Independence remains to be implemented.
Massive protests have swept the country since the contentious law got approval of both the Houses of the parliament. The President’s assent was followed by agitations across the country. Student organisations, opposition parties and civil society came out in huge numbers.
In Delhi, several cities in UP and Karnataka, the peaceful protests turned violent. Over 18 people have been killed in UP and four in Assam.
The law has been described as “unconstitutional” by opposition parties and Human Rights activists who claim that it excludes Muslims from being a part of the law that provides citizenship to refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
West Bengal, Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan state assemblies have passed resolution demanding the withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.