Amnesty International shuts down its India offices

New Delhi/Bengaluru : ‘Amnesty International India’ has decided to shut down all its offices in India temporarily. At the same time, all the events scheduled by the organization have also been cancelled. In an event organized by ‘Amnesty‘ at Bengaluru, based on the affairs in Jammu-Kashmir, anti-India slogans were shouted. After viewing the video footage of the event, charges for sedition were registered against the organization on Tuesday. Two days back, the former head of the ‘Gender Unit’ of ‘Amnesty‘, Geeta Sehgal had alleged that the organization has always been assisting the Jammu-Kashmir terrorist organizations.

National flagIn the light of this, ‘Amnesty‘ has started feeling the heat and a large number of protests are being carried out against the organization. In this context, ‘Amnesty‘ has decided to close down its offices in Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune and Chennai. The organization has notified all its employees and volunteers to work from home until then.

An event named ‘Broken Families of Kashmir’ was organized at the ’United Theological College’ in Bengaluru by ‘Amnesty on 13th August. Families of some of the terrorists and separatists, killed in encounters with the Indian security forces at Jammu-Kashmir, participated in the event. During this event, some objectionable remarks were made on the Indian Armed forces. Some of the persons present, took strong objections to this. After that, slogans for freedom of Kashmir and also anti-India slogans were raised.

The ‘Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad’ (ABVP) handed over a 90-minute video footage of this incident, showing anti-India slogans being shouted, to the police on Monday. Subsequently, protests demanding criminal proceedings against the organisers of the event and the arrest of those shouting anti-India slogans have already begun. Also, strong protests were staged outside the Delhi and the Bengaluru offices of ‘Amnesty‘.

Consequently, the Bengaluru Police filed charges of sedition against ‘Amnesty’ under Indian Penal code 142,143, 147, 124(A), and 153(A). Geeta Sehgal, a writer and journalist and also the former head of the ‘Amnesty International Gender Unit’,  has made serious accusations against ‘Amnesty.’ The terrorist groups of Jammu and Kashmir have long been receiving support from ‘Amnesty’, claimed Geeta Sehgal. In 2010 also, when she quit ‘Amnesty’, Geeta Sehgal had made serious allegations. Sehgal had said that this organization is supporting terrorist organizations like the ‘Taliban”.

Previously, ‘Amnesty’ had opposed the death penalty of the terrorist Afzhal Guru, who was convicted for the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament and that of Ajmal Kasab, who was arrested for his involvement in the terror attack in Mumbai. In the meantime, a similar program named ‘Broken Families of Kashmir’ was scheduled next week in Delhi. Amnesty has cancelled that also. So far, no arrests in the matter have been reported so far.  Bengaluru police said that they are further investigating the matter.

However, ‘Amnesty International’ has expressed displeasure about the complaint lodged against them. Furthermore, the organization is trying to defend itself by saying that their employees did not participate in the anti-India sloganeering.

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