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154 eminent citizens write to President in favour of CAA, NRC and NPR

The 154 prominent people have termed the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) as a “false and motivated campaign”.

Updated: Feb 17, 2020 21:17 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times New Delhi

File photo of a march in support of CAA and NCR, organised in Pune. (Milind Saurkar/HT File Photo )

More than 150 eminent citizens, including former judges, top armed forces’ commanders, bureaucrats and academicians, have written to President Ram Nath Kovind in favour of the Narendra Modi government’s recent policies related to citizenship and their registration.

The 154 prominent people have termed the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) as a “false and motivated campaign”.

They urged the President to look into the ongoing protests with all seriousness and safeguard the democratic institutions of the country, and take stern action against those people behind them.

The citizens, including 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, said “fear” is being spread across the length and breadth of India which appears to be “motivated and with a sinister design” to harm the nation.



They said the campaign is being carried out in a “coordinated manner” leading to violent protests in which public and private property have been destroyed.

The citizens said there has been a false and nefarious narrative about the recently enacted legislation like CAA and the idea of NPR and NRC.

They said that while 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.

“This (protests) has grave security implications and does not bode well for our motherland. These protests, while ostensibly claiming to oppose the policies of Government of India, are in effect designed to destroy the very fabric of this country and harm the nation’s unity and integrity,” the letter reads.

Under the citizenship act, members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, after facing religious persecution will not be treated as illegal immigrants.

The proposed NPR will be carried out along with the house listing phase of the Census exercise from April 1 to September 30.

The NPR, which is a comprehensive biometric database of all “usual residents” in India, as opposed to the Census, which is a database of households, has generated controversy with the opposition parties contending that the exercise is linked to NRC, which is aimed at identifying illegal immigrants.

The government, which has in the past described NPR as the first step towards a nationwide NRC, now maintains that there is no link between the two and that an all-India NRC is not immediately on the anvil.

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