A group of former civil servants has written an open letter criticising the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to take action on the killing of a policeman in Bulandshahr and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The letter, signed by 83 former bureaucrats on Tuesday, 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," the letter read.
The latest letter follows the December 3 killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and another man in Bulandshahr following mob violence over alleged cow slaughter.
The main accused in the case is a leader of right-wing group Bajrang Dal. PTI had earlier reported that local BJP leaders had demanded his transfer after 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 Muslim communities 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.
Among those who have signed the letter are former foreign secretaries Shyam Saran and Sujatha Singh, former IAS officials and activists Aruna Roy and Harsh Mander, former Delhi lt governor Najeeb Jung, former Prasar Bharati CEO Jawahar Sircar and former Planning Commission secretary N C Saxena.
The letter said the Uttar Pradesh chief minister "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".
The former bureaucrats also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"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.
They also requested the Allahabad High Court to take suo motu cognizance of the Bulandshahr incident and order a judicial enquiry. The bureaucrats 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 similar letter was issued after the rape cases of minors in Kathua and Unnao, calling it post-independent India's "darkest hour".