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Sedition case against Amnesty International over Kashmir event in Bangalore

By Raqib Hameed Naik, TwoCircles.net

Banglore: In a significant move, the Bangalore police on Monday filed an FIR against Amnesty International India, the global human rights watchdog, on charges of sedition, unlawful assembly and promoting enmity between two groups.

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 “Broken Families”, an event on alleged rights violations in Kashmir.

The FIR has been registered under 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, etc.,

“The ABVP’s Bengaluru City North organising secretary Jayaprakash claimed that “the panellists and Roushan Illahai (MC Kash) 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 organised an anti-India, anti-national program,” reported The News Minute.

The event organised by Amnesty had went into verbal clashes between groups of people on the sensitive issues.

It was reported by The Hindu, that the abrupt ending in the middle of a performance of Kashmiri hip-hop artiste, M.C. Kash, led to tempers flaring. The Kashmiris present in the crowd shouted pro-Independence slogans.

On Saturday, August 13 , Amnesty International India had organized an event in Bengaluru as part of a campaign to seek justice for victims of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

The event, which was conducted on the premises of the United Theological College, involved discussions with families from Kashmir who had travelled to Bengaluru to narrate their personal stories of grief and loss. Besides, Amnesty also invited representation from the Kashmiri Pandit community in Bengaluru to speak about the human rights violations faced by members of the community.

“It is important that media attention to the conduct of some of those who attended the event not serve as a distraction from the important issues of the denial of truth and justice to those who have suffered in Jammu and Kashmir,” Tara Rao, Programmes Director, Amnesty International India had said after the event.

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

“However, Amnesty International India considers that the right to freedom of expression under international human rights law protects the right to peacefully advocate political solutions that do not involve incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence,” she added.