A first information report has been filed against human rights activist and journalist Aakar Patel for allegedly suggesting that Indians should emulate the protests currently going on in the United States against the custodial murder of an African-American man, The Hindu reported on Thursday. The JC Nagar Police in Bengaluru registered the FIR suo motu after taking cognisance of Patel’s tweet.
Patel had posted video clips of the protests against the death of George Floyd in the US at the hands of the police. In his tweets, the former head of Amnesty International India had asked Muslims, Dalit, Advasis and women in India to protest in a similar fashion. Many people responded to his tweet and sought police action against him.
Nagaraja DR, the inspector at JC Nagar police station, took cognisance of the post and filed a complaint on Monday. He alleged that Patel urged minorities, backward people, the poor and women to agitate.
Patel has been booked under section 505 (1) (b) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or public tranquility), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 117 (abetting commission of an offence by the public or by more than ten persons) of the Indian Penal Code.
“I don’t think the FIR should have been filed and I don’t think it will go anywhere,” Patel told Deccan Herald.
The protests in the US have been continuing for the last nine days and have attracted attention worldwide. Last week, hundreds of people rallied outside the White House, which was briefly put under lockdown with entry and exits being shut. Since May 26, at least 9,839 people have been arrested across the US during protests, according to CNN. The protests have now spread beyond United States borders into other countries of the West, forcing a new conversation on race and on discriminatory policing.