Protests against Amnesty International India continued on Friday, with members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad – a youth organisation affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – staging demonstrations outside its Bengaluru office. Members of the organisation tried to enter the NGO’s office but were stopped and later lathi-charged by the police. Five protesters have been admitted to a hospital in the city, according to reports.
The ABVP had earlier filed a complaint against Amnesty, alleging that an event it held in Karnataka’s capital on the ongoing crisis in the Kashmir Valley was “anti-national”. A sedition case was filed against the NGO, even as it denied the charges. Acting on the advice of the Bengaluru Police, Amnesty had shut its offices in the city, accortding to The Hindu. A spokesperson for the non-profit said its 86 employees had been asked to work from home.
Earlier, Aakar Patel, the head of Amnesty's India division, said that the Centre needed to uphold the freedom of expression guaranteed in the Indian Constitution. He added that the sedition law was being misused by several state governments to silence activists who are critical of government policies.