Even as the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests continued across the nation on Saturday, with the toll in demonstrations rising to 11 in Uttar Pradesh alone, 1,100 academicians, scholars and intellectuals from various universities of India released a statement in support of the Act.
"The Act fulfills the long-standing demand of providing refuge to persecuted religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan," the statement read, going on to congratulate Parliament for "standing up for forgotten minorities and upholding the civilisational ethos of India" and "providing a haven for those fleeing religious persecution."
"We also note with satisfaction that the concerns of the northeastern states have been heard and are being addressed appropriately. We believe that CAA is in perfect sync with the secular Constitution of India as it does not prevent any person of any religion from any country, seeking Indian citizenship," the statement read.
The statement contended that the Act does not change the criteria of citizenship in any way and merely provides a special expedited redress, under special circumstances, for minorities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. "It does not in any way prevent Ahmadis, Hazaras, Baloch or any other denominations and ethnicities, from these same three countries, seeking citizenship through regular processes," the statement added.
The statement also noted "with deep anguish that an atmosphere of fear and paranoia is being created in the country through deliberate obfuscation and fear-mongering leading to violence in several parts of the country." The statement ended with an appeal to every section of society to exercise restraint and to refuse to "fall into the trap of propaganda, communalism, and anarchism."
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2019 16:04:58 IST