Amnesty Charged With Sedition Over Kashmir Event


Police said they were investigating if "anti-India" slogans were raised at the event after receiving a complaint from the right-wing student organisation, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, which has ties to the ruling Bharitya Janata Party. Investigations into the charges of sedition filed against Amnesty International would rely heavily on the videos taken at the event.

ABVP activists have also submitted a CD containing video recording of the event after filing a complaint with police.

Sindhujaa Iyengar is an employee of Amnesty International India.

Amnesty International India on Tuesday rejected the allegations against it in a sedition case in Bengaluru and said the charges mentioned in the FIR are "without substance".

On Tuesday, Siddaramaiah had said nobody would be spared if they indulge in anti-national activity.

A representative of the Kashmiri Pandit community in the city, who was invited to attend the event, also spoke on the occasion about the "human rights violations" in the Valley. The group had said that while it did not take a stand on calls for self-determination, it was supportive of the right to free speech and non-violent ways of achieving political aims.

AII issued a statement saying the event was constructed around a 2015 AII report on "obstacles to justice faced in several cases of human rights violations believed to have been committed by Indian security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir".

"When our activists were marching near the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park on Raj Bhavan Road, the police without any provocation started canning the activists", said Jayaprakash, who claimed "a minimum of 10,000 activists will participate in the protest on Wednesday".

The event was organised at United Theological College by Amnesty International India.

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.

Reports said some Kashmiri students started raising "anti-India" slogans after a participant praised the Indian army.

He slammed the decision to apply the colonial-era sedition charge, created by the British to suppress Indian calls for independence.

"Merely organising an event to defend constitutional values is now being branded "anti-India" and criminalised", said Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.

"I think the sedition complaint is risky and created to shut down organisations like Amnesty".

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