After Bengaluru event, police ask Amnesty staff to stay away from office

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) Fearing protests after the Bengaluru programme where “Azadi” slogans were allegedly raised, the staff of Amnesty International India were on Thursday asked not to come to their offices and work from other locations by police.

Officials from Amnesty International told IANS that police has advised them to stay away from their offices across the country.

“We are asking our staff to work from other locations today as a precautionary measure, based on police advice,” Amnesty International India Executive Director Aakar Patel told IANS.

An employee of Amnesty told IANS they hoped to be back in office on Friday.

“We are cooperating with the police and doing our work from remote locations. The office is presently under police protection,” an Amnesty employee told IANS.

The person, who did not want to be named, added that it will also depend on police advice.

The move comes in the wake of reports that the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student’s wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), was to stage a protest at the Amnesty office in Bengaluru.

On August 13, Amnesty organised the programme — ‘Broken Families’ — which had an interactive discussion on peace and justice in Kashmir and where three families from the strife-torn valley shared their accounts of rights violations they faced with the audience.

According to Bengaluru police, at the event, a group of persons who were among the audience raised slogans seeking ‘Azadi’. When the situation was getting volatile, the organisers suspended the programme and the police dispersed the people gathered there.

Later, a sedition case was booked by the police against Amnesty India on Monday night following a complaint by the ABVP.

Protests have been continuing since then with demands made to arrest Amnesty representatives.

–IANS

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