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Vested interests creating perception that a community being harassed in COVID fight: Citizens’ group

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 11-05-2020 20:48 IST | Created: 11-05-2020 20:48 IST
Vested interests creating perception that a community being harassed in COVID fight: Citizens’ group

A group of prominent citizens, including former judges and retired bureaucrats, has accused “certain vested interests" of pushing a perception that a particular community was allegedly being harassed in the fight against coronavirus, and claimed such efforts are aimed at "defaming" India. In a letter to all chief ministers, they said state governments are absolutely right in taking action against anyone attacking frontline workers in tackling the coronavirus or endangering the public health irrespective of the community they may belong to, according to a statement.

The group of 183 citizens include former Supreme Court judge Justice Anil Dave (retd) and former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing Sanjeev Tripathi, among others. The letter is seen as a response to allegations that Muslims have been targeted by certain right wing groups over the coronavirus outbreak.

In their letter, they have backed the Central government's action in coordination with states, saying they have been managing the healthcare and food supply lines quite effectively and allowing "far less fatalities" than what it could have caused. The entire world is "showering praises" on India for fighting unitedly against the pandemic, they said.

They then added, "Our Group is quite disturbed at the manner in which the mouth-pieces of certain vested interests are consistently trying to create a perception that there is wide spread harassment caused to a particular community in states." Hitting out at such efforts, they said, "Our group objects to divisive anti-India propaganda by certain elements, which is a plot in a larger design to shred the nation's strong social fiber, and to defame India and the Indians by unfairly tarnishing them globally by levelling false allegations." They urged chief ministers to take effective action to ensure that this "sinister anti-national agenda should never succeed in its motives of demoralising the heath-care personnel, sanitation workers, public service staff and law enforcement agencies in the fight against the pandemic”. What is of extreme seriousness, the statement said, is that some "mouthpieces of these anti-India elements rake up fake anti-India news, including from the Twitter handles operated by Pakistan and its ISI from many countries for under-cover operations against India, without any verification".

There is a need to take stringent action against them as per law, the group said..



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