Now, scientists of government-funded institutes told to 'not protest' against CAA

Updated: Jan 11, 2020, 07:52 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

A public letter issued online by the scientists' community against the CAA has received close to 2,000 signatures till date.

Mumbaikars protest against CAA and NRC at Azad Maidan. File pic
Mumbaikars protest against CAA and NRC at Azad Maidan. File pic

Less than a month after the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) administration came under the scanner for reminding its employees that they cannot take part in protests against the government while on duty, some government-funded institutes have now allegedly come down heavily on scientists protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

After the Bill was presented, the scientists' community issued a public letter online condemning CAA. Till date the letter has received about 2,000 signatures. It has now come to the fore that the administrations of such institutes have sent emails to their scientists asking them not to take part in the protest.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a scientist from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, said, "While the heads of some institutes have been asked to check whether their scientists have signed in support of the letter, in some other places individual scholars have been sent emails reminding them about the rules and regulations. But there is no clarity on how many institutes or scientists have been sent such emails. However, it appears that the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) has asked the heads of some institutes to confirm whether their scientists have signed the letter."

Requesting anonymity, a scientist from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, said, "We have heard about such emails being sent to some scientists at IISER reminding them of the regulations, but nothing of this sort has happened in TIFR. We will have to wait and see."

In December, after the Citizenship Amendment Bill was presented, a group of Indian scientists from the country as well as abroad had issued the public letter. The letter states, "While we support this laudable objective, we find it deeply troubling that the Bill uses religion as a legal criterion for determining Indian citizenship."

It received signatures from scholars of several institutes including Indian Institute of Science and Research, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and many IITs.

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