Calling anti-CAA protests 'sinister', 150 prominent citizens write to President
As protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act continue, over 150 prominent citizens have written to President Ram Nath Kovind in favor of the legislation. The 154 prominent persons—that include former judges, bureaucrats, army officers, and academicians—alleged that a "false and motivated" campaign is being launched against the citizenship law. They also said that the campaign has a "sinister design" to harm the nation.
According to PTI, the letter in favor of the CAA was sent to President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday. Reportedly, it has been signed by 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. In the letter, the signatories urge the government to look into the ongoing protests.
The letter reportedly said that a "false and nefarious narrative" about the CAA along with the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being promulgated. The letter noted that while the CAA has been enacted, the idea of the NPR and the NRC has been included in the national discourse since India gained independence and remains to be implemented.
The letter claimed, "This (the protests) has grave security implications and does not bode well for our motherland," adding that fear is being spread across India through a "coordinated" campaign "with a sinister design." It added, "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."
The 154 citizens also wrote that they strongly feel there is an external dimension to the current nationwide agitation. They urged the Centre to take stern action against the protesters and safeguard India's democratic institutions.
The CAA expedites Indian citizenship for non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Critics say the legislation infringes on India's secular principles by making religion a criterion for citizenship. Others say the CAA—in conjunction with the NRC—will work to expel Indian Muslims. NRC is a register of Indian citizens, effectively identifying illegal immigrants. The National Population Register is a prelude to NRC.