A group of former bureaucrats, including former National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, have written an open letter demanding Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath’s resignation because of his “politics of hate”, reports said.

The letter, signed by 83 former bureaucrats, referred to the mob violence that erupted in Bulandshahr district earlier this month after an alleged cow slaughter incident came to light. Two people, including a police officer, died in the violence.

The Adityanath government’s actions have led to “hooliganism and thuggery” being mainstreamed in governance, the former bureaucrats alleged. They also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the matter.

“Our prime minister, who is so voluble in his election campaigns, and who never tires of telling us of how the Constitution 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,” the letter read. “[The incident] shows that in India’s most populous state, fundamental principles of governance, of constitutional ethics and of humane social conduct stand perverted.”

The former bureaucrats accused Adityanath of acting like a “high priest of the agenda of bigotry and majoritarian supremacy”. The bureaucrats accused the state government of intimidating minorities and retaliating against any authority “who dares to be evenhanded in their approach to minority communities”.

On December 7, Adityanath described the killing of the police inspector as “an accident” and claimed no incident of mob lynching had taken place in the state. However, on Wednesday the chief minister described the incident as a “political conspiracy”, PTI reported. “The December 3 [Bulandshahr] violence is a political conspiracy [hatched] by those who have lost political ground,” he told reporters outside the Assembly.