Former Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hegde has said slapping of sedition charges against Amnesty International for hosting an event in Bengaluru where anti-India slogans were allegedly raised is justified, even as he questioned the credibility of the NGO. He said Amnesty International cannot “run away” from its responsibility by saying that none of its employees shouted slogans.
“What’s the responsibility of Amnesty International? They should have known that when you bring these people and allow whatever they want to speak, (and) then to say I am not responsible. No, you have made a platform available to them… You are an abettor. You cannot run away from that,” Hegde, also the former Solicitor General of India told PTI.
“Raising pro-independence slogans amounts to sedition. It amounts to sedition according to me,” he said. “Let’s take the institution’s (Amnesty’s) credibility. What did Amnesty International do when soldiers were killed ? What did Amnesty International do when other terrorist activities were taking place in this country? Did they ever call a meeting like this? You try to get some popularity and when it backfires, you run away from it,” he said.
“Taking into consideration what was spoken in the Bengaluru incident, I would say it certainly amounts to sedition,” the former Karnataka Lokayukta said. At the event organised by the Amnesty on Saturday, anti-India slogans were allegedly raised during a discussion on Kashmir, prompting the authorities to book the NGO under relevant IPC sections including sedition.
Amnesty, on its part, has rejected as “without substance” the allegations made by ABVP, which had also filed a police complaint in connection with the event and submitted a CD of the proceedings, and claimed that none of its employees shouted any anti-India slogans at any point.