New Delhi: Even as protests continued across the country against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a group of more than 1,000 academicians on Friday backed the government over the legislation and congratulated it for ‘standing up for forgotten minorities.’

In a statement, the academicians, belonging to universities and colleges from across the country, including JNU, DU and IGNOU, said that the Act had only fulfilled a long-standing demand for refuge by religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

“Ever since the failure of the Liaquat-Nehru pact of 1950, various leaders and political parties, cutting across the ideological spectrum, have demanded that citizenship be granted to religious minorities, who are mostly Dalits, from Pakistan and Bangladesh,” the statement further said.

Lauding the government for ‘upholding the civilisational ethos of India,’ the group also thanked the government for providing a safe haven to those fleeing religious persecution.

‘Noting with satisfaction’ that the concerns of the northeastern states had been addressed, the academicians added that the CAA was perfectly in sync with the secular Constitution of India as it did not prevent any person from any country from seeking Indian citizenship.

“The CAA does not change the criteria for citizenship in any way,” the statement noted.

The group blamed an ‘atmosphere of fear and paranoia being spread across the country’ behind the violence during anti-CAA protests and appealed to people to not fall victim to any rumour or fake news being spread.

Over the last few days, a slew of pro-CAA protest, too, have been held in various parts of the country, including one in Delhi last night by BJP leader Kapil Mishra, during which several controversial slogans were allegedly raised.