Bengaluru, Aug 19 (IANS) The police on Friday caned about 100 Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists and took 40 of them into preventive custody for attempting to barge into Amnesty International India office here to protest the anti-India slogans raised at a Kashmiri event the organisation held here last week.
“Our police force was forced to cane some of the activists when they tried to forcibly enter into the Amnesty office located in a residential area and refused to disperse from the place,” Additional Police Commissioner (Law and Order) P. Harishekaran told the media here.
Caught unawares by the sudden emergence of the activists, including several teenaged girls from colleges, near the Amnesty office in the city’s eastern suburb, police rushed additional force to the area and placed barricades to control the situation.
“As the activists gathered at the office to stage a protest demo without prior intimation or permission from us, we told them to move out of the congested place, a residential locality and where protests are not allowed,” Harishekaran said.
When the police prevented the activists from entering the office building, their leaders sought permission to present a memo to the representatives of the non-government organisation.
“Our police officers on duty acted promptly and handled the situation well as they found a couple of activists carrying two bottles of petrol. Had our force not acted in quick time, they would have entered the residential quarters of the building and set the houses on fire,” he said.
Condemning the police for “caning even girls who were protesting peacefully” over the arrest of the Amnesty representatives and those who raised slogans against the country and the army, ABVP National General Secretary Vinay Bidre said it was since a week ago (August 13) when the incident happened and the culprits were yet to be arrested.
“How many days police require to investigate the case when we have given enough evidence, including audio-video footage of the event where anti-India and anti-army slogans were raised by some of the participants in the presence of the Amnesty officials,” Bidre told reporters later.
About 10 activists, including two girls, were injured in the clash that erupted when police resorted to cane charge against them.
Bidre also accused the state government of being soft with those involved in anti-national sloganeering.
“We will intensify our protest till the culprits were arrested and the Amnesty office is shut down,” Bidre reiterated.
Later, the police advised Amnesty to close the office till the protests stopped and ask its representatives to work from home.