Videos taken at the Amnesty International event in Bengaluru against which a sedition case was filed last week will be verified by the Forensic Sciences Laboratory, the police said on Tuesday. The row broke out after members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a right-wing student organisation linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party, complained that anti-national activities took place at the event, “Broken Families”. The rights group, however, had said the event was organised to discuss the plight of Kashmiri civilians, and allow the families of victims of state brutality to speak about their experiences.
According to The Times of India, the police want to verify the “slogans and words used” at the event before they make any arrests. The English daily quotes an officer as saying, “Trouble began at the end of the programme when Kashmir-based youths accused the Army of atrocities in the Valley.”
Amnesty had earlier clarified that some participants had indeed raised slogans for azadi (freedom) towards the end of the event. The group had said that while it did not take a stand on calls for self-determination, it was supportive of the right to free speech and non-violent ways of achieving political aims.
While Amnesty has outright denied all the charges levelled upon it by the ABVP, the international organisation might now run into trouble with the Ministry of Home Affairs, several newspapers and agencies reported on Tuesday. Unnamed ministry officials told the Economic Times that a licence Amnesty had applied for under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act – which allows it to get funds from abroad – might be denied to them. Amnesty is also waiting for permission to set up a major office in Delhi, which is likely to be put on hold as well, The Hindu reported.