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Upendra Bharti | HENB | Bengaluru | Aug 15, 2016:: An FIR was today under ‘sedition’, ‘unlawful assembly and rioting’ and ‘promoting enmity between groups’ was registered against Amnesty International India by the Bengaluru City Police in connection with alleged raising of “independence” slogans by “pro-freedom” Kashmiris who entered into heated arguments with a Kashmiri Pandit leader for hailing Indian Army. ABVP made a written complaint under which police has started enquiry on the allegations made in the FIR .
On 13 August, the ‘pro-Muslim’, ‘pro-Christian’, ‘pro-Naxalite’ and vehemently ‘anti-Hindu’ Amnesty International India organized an event in Bengaluru as part of a campaign to seek justice for victims of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir under the caption, “Broken Families”.
The most debated event, which was conducted at the premises of the United Theological College, involved discussions with families from Kashmir – featured in Amnesty International India’s report, “Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir”, who had travelled to Bengaluru to narrate their personal stories of grief and loss. With a tricky intention, Amnesty International India also invited representation from the Kashmiri Pandit community in Bengaluru to speak about the human rights violations faced by members of the community.
The sole aim of the Amnesty India was exposed when the Muslim invitees started anti-India and anti-Army and Pro-Pak Freedom of Kashmir which was extremely opposed by a Hindu pro-Panun panellist of Kashmir roots.
The details of the happening has been flashed in the The News Minute as follows:
The JC Nagar police have booked a case against Amnesty, following a complaint by an ABVP member on August 13, on the day the human rights group organised the programme named“Broken Families”, an event on alleged rights violations in Kashmir.
Inspector Ramesh Kumar told The News Minute that no member of Amnesty had been named in the FIR which has been registered under Sections 142, 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity) and 149 (common intent) of the IPC. Ramesh said that a call would be taken on arrest only after investigation.
Amnesty International’s event on Saturday at the United Theological College had invited family members of people who had allegedly been disappeared by the armed forces. Among the panellists were journalist Seema Mustafa, and former journalist RK Mattoo.
While members of the audience listened quietly to the testimonies of people whose family members had disappeared, arguments began when Mattoo said that the Indian Army was very disciplined. Some of the members of the audience took objection to these remarks.
Slogans pro and against the army presence in Kashmir were raised. Later on, people also raised slogans for ‘azaadi’.
In his complaint to the JC Nagar police the ABVP’s Bengaluru City North Organizing Secretary Jayaprakash claimed that the panellists “and Roushan Illahai sang anti-national songs, raised anti-national slogans, made anti-India and anti-national speeches, raised slogans saying India’s Kashmir should go to Pakistan. They (organisers) expressed support for terrorists, Pakistan, and ISI. They organized an anti-India, anti-national program”.
Roushan Illahi is a Kashmiri rapper who goes by the stage name MC Kash. He performed at the event on Saturday.
ABVP demanded the arrest of people who participated in this “anti-national program”. They also claimed that when ABVP workers came forward to stop this (program), they were assaulted.
Karnataka Home Minister had on Sunday said that action would be taken against “anti-nationals”. “Some information is that they may be refugees residing here, but what was their intention, who provoked them, why did they do it, need to be inquired into,” he had said.
BJP’s Karnataka state president BS Yeddyurappa had written a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday, demanding the strict action against people who had organised the “disturbing” event.
Reacting to the FIR, Aakar Patel, Amnesty International India’s Executive Director said in a statement, “Merely organizing an event to defend constitutional values is now being branded ‘anti-India’ and criminalized. The police were invited and 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.”
Amnesty added that the Bengaluru Police were informed about the event well in advance.
“Amnesty International India as a matter of policy does not take any position in favour of or against demands for self-determination. However, Amnesty International India considers that the right to freedom of expression under international human rights law includes the right to peacefully advocate political solutions, as long as it does not involve incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. The Supreme Court has ruled that expression can be restricted on grounds of public order only when it involves incitement to imminent violence or disorder. India’s archaic sedition law has been used to harass and persecute activists and others for their peaceful exercise of their right to free expression. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code defines sedition as any act or attempt “to bring into hatred or contempt, or…excite disaffection towards the government.” Mahatma Gandhi had called the law “the prince among the political sections of the Indian Penal Code designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen.”
In an rejoinder the Amnesty International India tried to clarify the happening as, “According to media reports, the Bengaluru Police have filed a criminal case against Amnesty International India for organizing an event as part of a campaign to seek justice for human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. The event involved discussions with families from Kashmir, who were featured in a 2015 report, who had travelled to Bengaluru to narrate their personal stories of grief and loss.
The Newsminute has reported that a First Information Report was filed on the basis of a complaint filed by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student organization affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The FIR reportedly mentions a number of offences including ‘sedition’, ‘unlawful assembly’, ‘rioting’ and ‘promoting enmity’. Amnesty International India has not yet received a copy of the FIR.
“Merely organizing an event to defend constitutional values is now being branded ‘anti-India’ and criminalized,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.
“The police were invited and 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.” (Details here).
ABVP activists, who staged a protest against the event calling it “anti-national”, had filed the complaint with the police along with a CD containing video recording of the event. Some other Hindu groups also joined in the protest with ABVP. They also alleged that Amnesty International is not serious at all to address or solve the problems of thousands of Kashmiri Pandit Families who were uprooted from velly for Islamic persecution and under violation of all types of human rights violation.
Amnesty International India wants to fuel the Kashmir violence with some allegations on Human rights violation, but it never say anything against the Jihad and Islamic terrorism in Kashmir. With the aid of huge foreign funding, the Amnesty India has been advocating the subversive Naxalite groups, Pro Pak Jihadi and Azaadi groups and some Pro-Christian militant groups in North East States in India. ABVP and some other Hindu Groups alleged and connection of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI with Amnesty India for its continuing anti-Indian and Kashmiri Freedom movements via some Kashmir lobby groups and Ghulam Nabi Fai.
__Input from News Minute/Amnesty Intl India.