New Delhi: In yet another fresh development over various citizenship-related Acts, which have triggered protests across the country, a delegation of 154 eminent personalities on Friday met President Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to order action against those resorting to violence in the name of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)-National Population Register (NPR)-National Register of Citizens (NRC) troika.
The delegation, comprising former judges, civil servants, armed forces officers etc. urged the President to initiate action ‘in order to protect democratic institutions.’ Led by Permod Kohli, Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) chairman and former Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court, the delegation, conveyed to the President that the protests have been instigated by ‘political elements.’
The country, since last month, has been witnessing massive protests against the CAA-NPR-NRC combine. While initially violent, the protests have now turned into ‘silent satyagrahas.’
The CAA aims to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who came to India before December 31, 2014. It is the exclusion of Muslims from the list of religious minorities that has triggered pan-India protests. NRC, meanwhile, aims to identify ‘illegal immigrants’ living in the country as its citizens, and revoke their citizenship. NPR aims to identify ‘usual residents’ of the country.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the Centre four weeks to respond to 144 anti-CAA petitions, also restraining the High Courts from entertaining pleas challenging the constitutionality of CAA. It also refused to order an interim stay on CAA and postpone NPR for the time being.