Amnesty International India has never involved itself in any kind of anti-national activities, Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara said on Saturday, even as it faced sedition charges over an event held by it in Bengaluru in which anti-India and anti-army slogans were allegedly raised.
“Amnesty International is not new to Bengaluru; this organisation has been functioning here for a long time. I don’t know nor I have heard in the past about it (Amnesty) or anyone from it involving in any anti-national activities,” Parameshwara said.
“They (Amnesty) organised a programme about army’s excesses in Kashmir. They had called a few families (from Kashmir) to console them and give them some sort of mental support, in which certain incidents took place about which an FIR has been registered,” he said.
Amnesty International last week organised the event as part of a campaign to seek justice for “victims of human rights violations” in Jammu and Kashmir, which took an ugly turn with heated exchanges and alleged raising of pro-Kashmir ‘Independence’ and anti-army slogans.
ABVP activists had submitted a CD containing video recording of the event after filing a complaint with police, who have registered an FIR against the charity, including on sedition charge.
IPC sections-- 142 (being member of an unlawful assembly), 143 (whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) have been invoked against Amnesty.
Criticising BJP and ABVP for holding protests, Parameshwara said now that an FIR had been registered, ABVP were holding protests on the streets.
“What is your culture? What are you trying to do? What kind of society are you trying to build?”
“They (protesters) are students, they are not aware of anything, those who had gone for classes are being brought forcefully (to protest), this is BJP’s culture,” he added.
During one such protest in front of Amnesty International India office in Bengaluru on Saturday, police resorted to a mild lathi charge during which a few students were injured.
ABVP intensified its agitation by launching a day-night protest.
Several state BJP leaders and party’s women’s wing also staged a protest here condemning police action against ABVP members and demanding arrest of those involved in alleged sloganeering.