Former civil servants condemn fake news of ‘Muslim regiment’

A group of former civil servants have written an open letter condemning the defaming of soldiers of the Muslim faith who are part of the armed forces of India. They have also expressed their full support to the veterans who had written to the President of the country seeking redress against this “malicious campaign of calumny against the soldiers” of a particular faith.

The signatories to the open letter, which include several former chief secretaries of states and secretaries of departments under the central government, have said that such attempts of defaming and dividing the armed forces can “be termed as acts of treason”. The letter further adds that at a time when assaults on the dignity of Muslim citizens of the country have become commonplace, “this particular theme which casts doubts on the loyalty of Muslim soldiers has wider implications which could have serious repercussions on our security and on fields of battle”.

Highlighting the veterans’ letter, they state that there was no such Muslim regiment as alleged. Therefore, they demand that an investigation should be carried out to find the antecedents of individuals who have made ‘Muslim Regiment’ post and they should be charged for anti-national activities. They have also demanded that the investigative agencies look into whether “elements that have been pursuing a hate cum polarising agenda in the country are deliberately propagating this fake news with a view to causing divisions in our armed forces, weakening our national resolve and security”.

The complete letter is produced below.

AN OPEN LETTER SEEKING INVESTIGATION INTO THE MALICIOUS CAMPAIGN OF CALUMNY AGAINST SOLDIERS OF THE MUSLIM FAITH IN THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES

21 OCTOBER 2020

We are a group of former civil servants of the All India and Central Services, who have worked for decades with Central and State Governments in the course of our careers. As a group, we have no affiliation with any political party but believe in the credo of impartiality, neutrality and commitment to the Indian Constitution. We continue to uphold the oath of allegiance to our Constitution we took when we entered service.

We are deeply disturbed to note the malicious campaign of calumny against soldiers of the Muslim faith in the armed forces of India which has caused distinguished Veterans of our armed forces to petition the Hon’ble President of India, who is also the Supreme Commander of our armed forces, seeking redress. The contents of the letter have been widely publicized and a sample is noted below:

The letter from the Veterans points out that there was no such Muslim regiment in the first place. It forcefully establishes that the charges of dereliction of duty or disloyalty laid against Muslim troops in false social media posts, which have been named, have no basis whatsoever. We support the requests of the Veterans, namely: 1. Investigate the antecedents of individuals who have made ‘Muslim Regiment’ post. 2. Identify & charge individuals who have made the post, for anti-national activities. 3. Issue warning to Facebook & Twitter who have enabled these posts. 4. Issue instructions to all state governments that generation of such false & seditious messages in social media should be acted upon with alacrity.

While assaults against the dignity of our Muslim citizens, as indeed physical assaults, are becoming commonplace, this particular theme which casts doubts on the loyalty of Muslim soldiers has wider implications which could have serious repercussions on our security and on fields of battle. At a time, particularly, when India is facing grave external threats, attempts to divide the armed forces could well be termed acts of treason.

We, the undersigned, would therefore urge that our armed forces as also the Government of India take cognizance of these fake news and issue suitable statements to negate the efforts to sully the image of our forces and our country. As the Veterans have significantly pointed out, “the public assumes that it is the truth, especially when there is no official action against the perpetrators.”

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We further demand that appropriate investigative agencies be urgently tasked to thoroughly investigate and determine whether elements that have been pursuing a hate cum polarising agenda in the country are deliberately propagating this fake news with a view to causing divisions in our armed forces, weakening our national resolve and security.

SATYAMEVA JAYATE

(91 signatories, as below)

1              Salahuddin Ahmad          IAS (Retd.)          Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan

2              Shafi Alam           IPS (Retd.)          Former Director General, National Crime Records Bureau, GoI

3              S.P. Ambrose     IAS (Retd.)          Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping & Transport, GoI

4              Anand Arni         R&AW (Retd.)   Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI

5              Gopalan Balagopal           IAS (Retd.)          Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal

6              Chandrashekhar Balakrishnan    IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Coal, GoI

7              T.K. Banerji         IAS (Retd.)          Former Member, Union Public Service Commission

8              Sharad Behar     IAS (Retd.)          Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh

9              Aurobindo Behera           IAS (Retd.)          Former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Odisha

10           Pradip Bhattacharya       IAS (Retd.)          Former Additional Chief Secretary, Development & Planning and Administrative Training Institute, Govt. of West Bengal

11           Sundar Burra      IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra

12           Rachel Chatterjee            IAS (Retd.)          Former Special Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh

13           Kalyani Chaudhuri            IAS (Retd.)          Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal

14           Anna Dani           IAS (Retd.)          Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra

15           Vibha Puri Das   IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI

16           P.R. Dasgupta    IAS (Retd.)          Former Chairman, Food Corporation of India, GoI

17           Nareshwar Dayal              IFS (Retd.)           Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

18           Pradeep K. Deb                IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Deptt. Of Sports, GoI

19           Nitin Desai          IES (Retd.)           Former Secretary and Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, GoI

20           Keshav Desiraju                IAS (Retd.)          Former Health Secretary, GoI

21           M.G. Devasahayam        IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Govt. of Haryana

22           Sushil Dubey      IFS (Retd.)           Former Ambassador to Sweden

23           A.S. Dulat            IPS (Retd.)          Former OSD on Kashmir, Prime Minister’s Office, GoI

24           Prabhu Ghate    IAS (Retd.)          Former Addl. Director General, Department of Tourism, GoI

25           Gourisankar Ghosh         IAS (Retd.)          Former Mission Director, National Drinking Water Mission, GoI

26           Suresh K. Goel  IFS (Retd.)           Former Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, GoI

27           S. Gopal               IPS (Retd.)          Former Special Secretary, GoI

28           S.K. Guha            IAS (Retd.)          Former Joint Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development, GoI

29           H.S. Gujral           IFoS (Retd.)        Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of Punjab

30           Meena Gupta    IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI

31           Ravi Vira Gupta IAS (Retd.)          Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India

32           Siraj Hussain       IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Department of Agriculture, GoI

33           Kamal Jaswal      IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI

34           Najeeb Jung       IAS (Retd.)          Former Lieutenant Governor, Delhi

35           Rahul Khullar      IAS (Retd.)          Former Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

36           K. John Koshy    IAS (Retd.)          Former State Chief Information Commissioner, West Bengal

37           Ajai Kumar          IFoS(Retd.)         Former Director, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI

38           Brijesh Kumar    IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI

39           P.K. Lahiri            IAS (Retd.)          Former Executive Director, Asian Development Bank

40           Aloke B. Lal         IPS (Retd.)          Former Director General (Prosecution), Govt. of Uttarakhand

41           Subodh Lal          IPoS (Resigned)                Former Deputy Director General, Ministry of Communications, GoI

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42           B.B. Mahajan     IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Deptt. of Food, GoI

43           Harsh Mander   IAS (Retd.)          Govt. of Madhya Pradesh

44           Amitabh Mathur              IPS (Retd.)          Former Director, Aviation Research Centre and Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI

45           Lalit Mathur        IAS (Retd.)          Former Director General, National Institute of Rural Development, GoI

46           Aditi Mehta        IAS (Retd.)          Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan

47           Sonalini Mirchandani      IFS (Resigned)   GoI

48           Noor Mohammad            IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, Govt. of India

49           Avinash Mohananey      IPS (Retd.)          Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Sikkim

50           Deb Mukharji    IFS (Retd.)           Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and former Ambassador to Nepal

51           Shiv Shankar Mukherjee              IFS (Retd.)           Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

52           Pranab S. Mukhopadhyay            IAS (Retd.)          Former Director, Institute of Port Management, GoI

53           Nagalsamy          IA&AS (Retd.)    Former Principal Accountant General, Tamil Nadu & Kerala

54           P.G.J. Nampoothiri          IPS (Retd.)          Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Gujarat

55           P. Joy Oommen                IAS (Retd.)          Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Chhattisgarh

56           Amitabha Pande              IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Inter-State Council, GoI

57           Mira Pande         IAS (Retd.)          Former State Election Commissioner, West Bengal

58           Alok Perti            IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Ministry of Coal, GoI

59           R. Poornalingam               IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, GoI

60           N.K. Raghupathy              IAS (Retd.)          Former Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, GoI

61           V.P. Raja              IAS (Retd.)          Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission

62           K. Sujatha Rao   IAS (Retd.)          Former Health Secretary, GoI

63           Satwant Reddy IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, GoI

64           Vijaya Latha Reddy          IFS (Retd.)           Former Deputy National Security Adviser, GoI

65           Julio Ribeiro        IPS (Retd.)          Former Adviser to Governor of Punjab & former Ambassador to Romania

66           Aruna Roy           IAS (Resigned) 

67           A.K. Samanta     IPS (Retd.)          Former Director General of Police (Intelligence), Govt. of West Bengal

68           Deepak Sanan   IAS (Retd.)          Former Principal Adviser (AR) to Chief Minister, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh

69           G. Sankaran        IC&CES (Retd.)  Former President, Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal

70           Shyam Saran      IFS (Retd.)           Former Foreign Secretary and Former Chairman, National Security Advisory Board

71           S. Satyabhama  IAS (Retd.)          Former Chairperson, National Seeds Corporation, GoI

72           N.C. Saxena        IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Planning Commission, GoI

73           Ardhendu Sen   IAS (Retd.)          Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal

74           Abhijit Sengupta              IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI

75           Aftab Seth          IFS (Retd.)           Former Ambassador to Japan

76           Ajay Shankar      IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Deptt. of Industrial Policy & Promotion

77           Ashok Kumar Sharma     IFoS (Retd.)        Former MD, State Forest Development Corporation, Govt. of Gujarat

78           Ashok Kumar Sharma     IFS (Retd.)           Former Ambassador to Finland and Estonia

79           Navrekha Sharma            IFS (Retd.)           Former Ambassador to Indonesia

80           Pravesh Sharma               IAS (Retd.)          Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh

81           Raju Sharma       IAS (Retd.)          Former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh

82           Rashmi Shukla Sharma   IAS (Retd.)          Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh

83           Sujatha Singh     IFS (Retd.)           Former Foreign Secretary, GoI

84           Tirlochan Singh  IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, GoI

85           Jawhar Sircar      IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI, & former CEO, Prasar Bharati

86           Narendra Sisodia              IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI

87           P.S.S. Thomas    IAS (Retd.)          Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission

88           Geetha Thoopal               IRAS (Retd.)       Former General Manager, Metro Railway, Kolkata

89           Hindal Tyabji      IAS (Retd.)          Former Chief Secretary rank, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir

90           Ashok Vajpeyi   IAS (Retd.)          Former Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi

91           Ramani Venkatesan        IAS (Retd.)          Former Director General, YASHADA, Govt. of Maharashtra

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