Lawfare in Bangalore: Charging Amnesty with Sedition
August 30, 2016
How Hindutva forces are misusing law to silence independent opinion.Interview with Seema Mustafa
An FIR was filed charging Amnesty International wirh sedition for a meeting it had organised on Kashmir in in Bangalore. Seema Mustafa said the meeting did not look for political solutions, but was only for looking at the experience of the people in Kashmir. One such instance was the Machil encounter case, where the army had courtmartialed five soldiers. No anti-Indian slogans were raised; nothing in the meeting could have invited any charge, let alone sedition charges.
The police were present and video recording of the meeting was also made available to them, but they didn't appear to believe the evidence of their own eyes. They filed an FIR against Amnesty and “unknown persons”.
The response of the Congress government in Karnataka response was initially weak. They appeared to have given in to the pressures of the ABVP and BJP. Only after 4-5 days, the Congress came out opposing the sedition charge, and only then the police backed off.
If holding meetings on such issues lead to charges of sedition, we seem to be heading for difficult times.
Image Courtesy: amnesty.org.in