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154 ‘concerned citizens’ petition President against violence during anti-CAA protests

Delegation members display copies of memorandum after submitting it to President Ram Nath Kovind, in New Delhi on January 24, 2020.

Delegation members display copies of memorandum after submitting it to President Ram Nath Kovind, in New Delhi on January 24, 2020.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Fear-mongering, which is being spread across the length and breadth of India, appears to be motivated, they say

A group of 154 “concerned citizens”, including retired judges and bureaucrats, on Friday petitioned President Ram Nath Kovind against the violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The citizens’ delegation, led by Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Chairman and former Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court Permod Kohli, handed over a memorandum Mr. Kovind, appealing to him to “safeguard” the country's democratic institutions.

The memorandum stated that the “conscious, responsible and concerned citizens want the Centre to look into the matter with all seriousness and safeguard the democratic institutions of the country and take stern action against such forces”.

It said, “Whenever India faced challenges on its borders and encountered the onslaught of some of the foreign invaders, it was more because of internal chicanery of individuals and small groups of people for their personal agendas and benefits who have from time to time tried to break the fabric of India's unity and cohesiveness. We are seeing this phenomenon again.”

The group alleged that the protests, “while ostensibly claiming to oppose the policies of the Centre”, are designed to “destroy the fabric of India and threaten its unity and integrity”.

The memorandum said, “The fear-mongering, which is being spread across the length and breadth of India, appears to be motivated and with a sinister design to harm the nation. The CAA does not impact on Indian citizens and hence claims that a citizen's rights and liberties are being infringed, does not stand scrutiny”.

The signatories to the memorandum include 11 former High Court judges, 72 ex-bureaucrats, including former ambassadors, 56 former defence officers and other public spirited individuals.

Prominent signatories include former Rajya Sabha secretary-general Yogendra Narain, former Kerala chief secretary C.V. Anand Bose, former ambassador G S Iyer, former RAW chief Sanjiv Tripathi, ITBP ex-DGP S.K. Kain, former Delhi Police commissioner R S Gupta, former Army staff deputy chief N S Malik, ex-president of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India Chandra Wadhwa and former NCW chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 8:55:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/154-concerned-citizens-petition-president-against-violence-during-anti-caa-protests/article30645697.ece

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