NEW DELHI: Amid raging anti-CAA protests, a civil-society group led by former Union minister Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday urged the government to consider roll back of the controversial citizenship law to break the cycle of peoples' resistance and adoption of harsh counter-measures.
The youth-led protests by people of all faiths have been met with use of unduly harsh measures by the state that has so far resulted in over two-dozen deaths, injuries to hundreds and destruction of public property, said the Concerned Citizens' Group in a statement signed by Sinha, Former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, Air Vice Marshal (retired) Kapil Kak and journalist Bharat Bhushan.
The hasty enactment of the patently discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and fears on related extension of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to the whole country have triggered these protests, the group said.
The core message the protestors conveyed to the government is that the CAA, founded on religious basis of citizenship, is aimed against the nation's principal minority, violates its rights and upends the fundamentals of India's constitutional nationhood, it said.
"There is a need to counter the growing international negative perception of our domestic policies, especially in our South Asian neighbourhood. American and Western criticism could get more strident should the NRC come in," the statement said.
"We urge the government to consider that the cycle of peoples' resistance and adoption of harsh counter-measures can only be broken if the CAA-NRC policy is rolled back without delay to provide relief to all sections of society," the Concerned Citizens' Group said.
This is also the appropriate time to recall the hapless plight of the people of Jammu and Kashmir where the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and 35A has deeply wounded the psyche of the people of Kashmir, plunging Kashmiri society into untold misery with an undercurrent of unease, depression and, with the political leadership in continuing incarceration, "death of expectations and public politics", the statement said.