Thursday , August 24 2017
India News Top Stories

Veterans of Armed Forces condemn targeting of Muslims, Dalits in open letter to PM

Veterans of Armed Forces condemn targeting of Muslims, Dalits in open letter to PM

NEW DELHI: A group of 114 armed forces veterans supporting ‘Not in My Name’ campaign had expressed their displeasure over the recent attacks on minorities, reported NDTV.

In an open letter to PM Modi and all Chief Ministers, the veterans comprise of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force condemn the rising incidents of mob violence against Muslims and Dalits, particularly by the relentless vigilantism of self-appointed ‘Gau-Rakshaks.

“We stand with the ‘Not in My Name’ campaign that mobilised thousands of citizens across the country to protest against the current climate of fear, intimidation, hate and suspicion,” it said.

“What is happening in our country today strikes at all that the Armed Forces, and indeed our Constitution, stand for. We are witness to unprecedented attacks on society at large by the relentless vigilantism of self-appointed protectors of Hinduism,” the letter said.

“We condemn the targeting of Muslims and Dalits… We condemn the clampdowns on free speech by attacks on media outlets, civil society groups, universities, journalists and scholars, through a campaign of branding them anti-national,” it added.

“We can no longer look away… Our diversity is our greatest strength. Dissent is not treason; in fact, it is the essence of democracy,” the letter said.

In the letter, urging both the Centre and the States to take note of the concerns, the veterans said,

“We urge the powers that be at the Centre and in the States to take note of our concerns and urgently act to uphold our Constitution, both in letter and in spirit.”

More than 20 innocent people have been killed by the so-called ‘Gau-Rakshaks’ in the name of ‘Gau-Bhakti’ in 14 separate attacks since Modi came to power.

After a prolonged silence, Prime Minister Modi has also condemned the killings, saying, “Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti (reverence of cows) is not acceptable.”