Amnesty says its employees did not raise anti-India slogans

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2016 00:36 IST
An FIR was registered against Amnesty International India for “anti-national” slogans raised during an event in Bengaluru. (Representative image/Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

Amnesty International’s India chapter said on Tuesday that none of its employee had shouted any anti-India slogan at an event on Kashmir in Bengaluru, allegations based on which sedition charges were slapped against the human rights body.

The home ministry, meanwhile, has launched a probe into the funding, expenses and possible violation of FCRA by the NGO.

Amensty India said allegations mentioned in a complaint by an ABVP representative against it were “without substance” and that only discussion at the event on Saturday was about allegations of human rights violations and denial of justice in J&K. Bengaluru Police slapped sedition charges against Amnesty International India on Monday.

The event was held as part of a campaign based on the report, “Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir”, published in July 2015, it said.

Amnesty said the report was based on in-depth research in J&K, including interviews with family members of victims, RTI applications, examination of police and court records, and interviews with civil society groups, lawyers, and government officials.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru Police have begun examining the video footage of the event even as ABVP activists staged protests in the city.

“Towards the end of the event, some of those who attended raised slogans, some of which referred to calls for ‘Azaadi’.

Amnesty International India as a matter of policy does not take any position in favour of or against demands for self-determination, Amnesty said.

Read | Amnesty to Kanhaiya: How sedition law is used to settle political scores

About allegations that Sindhujaa Iyengar, an Amnesty employee, and two others raising anti-national slogans, it said Iyengar was not present on stage at any point during the event. Amnesty said footage of the event has been shared with the police.

“Police have filed an FIR against Amnesty International India. They are examining the video and CCTV clippings to identify the pro-freedom Kashmiris who raised slogans,” Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara said.

Reacting to the development, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said, “Police are enquiring. An FIR has been registered.” Former CM B S Yeddyurappa said patriotic and nationalist people could not tolerate anti-India slogans. “What happened in JNU is being repeated here. This must be stopped,” the Lingayat leader said.

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