Amnesty faces sedition case for ‘anti-India’ slogan at event

Conduct of some should not distract from denial of justice: Rights body

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru | Updated: August 16, 2016 6:38:28 pm
Amnesty International India has asked the Assam government to release him from administrative detention. The event, involving discussions with affected families from the Valley, slipped into chaos after arguments broke out between two sections of participants and ended with slogans.

Bengaluru Police Monday registered a case of sedition against representatives from Amnesty International India, based on a complaint by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) about alleged anti-India slogans raised during an Amnesty International programme here Saturday.

The alleged slogan was raised at an event —‘Broken Families’ —held at United Theological College as part of a three-city campaign by Amnesty International India against alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

The event, involving discussions with affected families from the Valley, slipped into chaos after arguments broke out between two sections of participants and ended with slogans.

Activists of ABVP, the students’ wing of BJP, who were not let in by the police, staged a protest outside the venue over the alleged anti-India slogans. On Sunday, ABVP activists, accompanied by BJP MP from Mysuru Prathap Simha, staged a protest demanding police action for the alleged “anti-national’’ event.

In a press statement Saturday, Amnesty India had said that “towards the end of the event, some of those who attended raised slogans, some of which referred to calls for ‘Azaadi’… (but) conduct of some…(should) not serve as a distraction from the issues of denial of truth and justice to those who have suffered in J&K”.

Watch Video: Sedition Case Filed Against Amnesty International In Bengaluru

 

On Monday, JC Nagar police registered a case under IPC Sections 124 A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly) and 147 (punishment for rioting).

DCP (North Division) T R Suresh said, “We have received a complaint from Jaya Prakash, an activist of ABVP, seeking legal action against representatives of Amnesty International India and others for facilitating an event where anti-national slogans were raised. We had sent it to legal experts for their opinion; based on legal opinion we have registered a criminal case against representatives of Amnesty International and others.”

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said legal action would be taken if any anti-national activity had occurred. In the media statement issued Monday, Amnesty India said it was yet to receive a copy of the FIR.

The organisation’s executive director, Aakar Patel, said, “Merely organising an event to defend constitutional values is now being branded ‘anti-India’ and criminalised. The police were invited and (were) present at the event. The filing of a complaint against us now, and the registration of a case of sedition, shows a lack of belief in fundamental rights and freedoms in India.”

The police have sought video footage of the event.

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