NEW DELHI — Demanding resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, 83 former civil servants ― including ex-foreign secretary and national security advisor Shivsankar Menon ― have written an open letter criticising the central and the state governments for their alleged failure in acting against the killers of a police officer in Bulandshahr.
The letter said Adityanath “refuses to acknowledge the gravity of the incident and its communal intent, condemn the perpetrators of violence or direct the police to take action against them but instead asks them to focus attention on those responsible for illegal cow slaughter”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also attacked in the letter signed by these former bureaucrats, who also included ex-Delhi lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, ex-foreign secretary Sujatha Singh, IAS-turned activists Aruna Roy and Harsh Mander, former Prasar Bharati CEO Jawahar Sircar and former Planning Commission secretary NC Saxena.
“Our Prime Minister, who is so voluble in his election campaigns and who never tires of telling us of how the Constitution of India is the only holy book he worships, maintains stony silence even as he sees a Chief Minister handpicked by him treat that same Constitution with sheer contempt,” they said.
The letter follows the 3 December killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and another man in Bulandshahr following mob violence over alleged cow slaughter.
Reacting to criticism, Adityanath Wednesday said his government’s action in the case should be praised and described the cow slaughter in Bulandshahr as a “political conspiracy” by those who wanted to create anarchy.
The Tuesday letter by former bureaucrats asked citizens to unite in a “crusade against the politics of hate and division a politics which aims to destroy the fundamental principles on which our Republic is founded”.
“It is a measure of the rapid erosion of constitutional values that we, as a group, have felt a compelling need to speak out as many as nine times in the last eighteen months,” it said.
The main accused in the case is a leader of right-wing group Bajrang Dal.
“World over, in any civilized society, the killing of a policeman is a more serious offence than any other crime, because it represents an assault on the very basis of that civilisation.”
Earlier, local BJP leaders had reportedly demanded the inspector’s transfer, accusing him of creating obstacles for religious functions.
According to the letter, the violence in Bulandshahr was a deliberate attempt to display majoritarian muscle and send a message to the Muslims living in the region that they “have to live in fear, accept their subordinate status and conform to the cultural diktats of the majority community”.
“World over, in any civilized society, the killing of a policeman is a more serious offence than any other crime, because it represents an assault on the very basis of that civilisation,” it said.
The former bureaucrats also urged the Allahabad High Court to take cognizance of the violence and order a judicial enquiry.
They also reminded the state’s chief secretary, the director general of police and the home secretary “of their constitutional duty to fearlessly implement the rule of law rather than the perverse dictates of their political masters”.
A group of former bureaucrats and activists had also written critical open letters following the rape cases of minors in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.