Tue, Feb 21, 2017 | updated 08:26 AM IST

Congress influencing probe into Amnesty International Sedition row: BJP

Updated: Aug 20, 2016 20:42 IST

Chennai, Aug 20 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday alleged that the Congress Party was trying to intervene and influence the police probe against the Amnesty International in Bengaluru, which has been booked under the sedition charge for allegedly raising pro-Kashmir freedom slogans at an event.

Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu said that the Congress Party has, as usual, taken a political and opportunistic stand on the issue.

"Chief Minister of Karnataka says anti-national slogans will not be tolerated. But Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh steps in and tells the Chief Minister not to take action and tells that party vice president Rahul Gandhi do not want action to be taken," he said.

"In such a serious case, it is for the police to decide. It is for the state to investigate. How come Digvijaya Singh dictate what is to be done and what is not to be done? And how come Rahul Gandhi get involved into this?... They ( Congress) are trying to intervene and influence police probe," he alleged.

The Union Minister also cornered the Amnesty International, saying it was running away from its responsibility for what has happened during their program.

"You organise a meeting, you call the people and they say and shout something and then you say you have no responsibility. Raising Pro-Independence slogans means demanding division of the country. It is nothing but 'anti-national'. It is sedition. It is quite surprising that this organisation Amnesty international say that they are championing the cause and the civil rights of the people," Naidu said.

"Any organisation which hosts a programme, where anti-national slogans are raised or demands are made, they should take the responsibility for the same," he added.

Dubbing the registration of sedition case against Amnesty International over anti-India slogans being raised at an event as 'unnecessary', Digvijaya Singh had earlier wondered as to why no case has been registered against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders who have been raising slogans of 'azadi'.

Singh, who is the party's general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, said such laws are of the British era and added that chanting slogans is not a crime.

"To chant slogans is not an anti-national activity. These laws are of the British era. Slogans of 'azadi' are chanted by the people of PDP which is Mehbooba Mufti's party. Why no case is registered against them? The Government of Karnataka is rethinking in this matter and I believe that no FIR should have been registered in this case," said Singh.

The police on Monday filed cases, including one of sedition, against the organisers of a programme that sought to project the human suffering of the Kashmir conflict.

The police last week charged Amnesty International India under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, which defines sedition as brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government of India.

Unnamed representatives of the non-government organisation were also booked under Sections 142,143, 147, 149 (unlawful assembly and rioting) and Section 153 A (promoting enmity between groups).

Reacting to the FIR filed by ABVP, Amnesty International India in a statement said the allegations mentioned in the complaint are without substance, adding it is an attempt to prevent the families of victims of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir from having their stories heard.

Earlier, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan's NGO Common Cause moved the Supreme Court challenging the "misuse and misapplication" of sedition laws in the country.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Bhushan says that the sedition law is rampantly abused to instil fear, causing persecution of students, journalists, intellectuals engaging in social activism.

The PIL also says that sedition laws are used as a tool to scuttle dissent and actions which do not involve violence or tendency to create public disorder do not constitute the offence of sedition. (ANI)

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Feb 21 (ANI): The Kurar Police seized two cars full of liquor last night ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls here.

Full Story >>

Yadgir (Karnataka) [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): At least nine people were killed and 43 others suffered serious injuries following a deadly collision between a tempo and a cement tanker today in Karnataka's Yadgir district.

Full Story >>

Mumbai [India], Feb 21 (ANI): The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) has seized 1039 grams of gold with a market value of Rs. 31,52,326 from a woman at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 21 (ANI): Coming down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for drawing a parallel between Hindu and Muslim festivals, Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Tuesday said that the former is trying to create a mindset inconsistent with the values of the Constitution.

Full Story >>

Piers Morgan praises Trump's NSA pick

Updated: Feb 21, 2017 05:51 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): British journalist Piers Morgan apparently seemed very much in support of U.S. President Donald Trump's new National Security Advisor.

Full Story >>

NRHM Scam: SC to hear the matter today

Updated: Feb 21, 2017 04:17 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 21 (ANI): The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, will hear the plea seeking investigation into the alleged multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in Uttar Pradesh.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb 21 (ANI): The campaigning for the fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections will come to an end at 5 p.m. today.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb 21 (ANI): On the very first of assuming office as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, E. Palanisamy, announced five welfare schemes, to fulfill the promises made by the late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa in her election manifesto.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 21 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday will hear plea filed by Vodafone India alleging that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ( TRAI) had failed to prohibit Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd's (RJIO) "blatant violation" of tariff orders, directions and regulations by permitting it to continue with its free offers.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 21 (ANI): The Delhi Police, on Monday, claimed that they have identified the main accused in connection to the alleged rape of a 24-year-old woman from northeast, in Delhi's Hauz Khas area.

Full Story >>

Trivandrum (Kerala) [India], Feb 21 (ANI): In a recent development, two more accused, who were arrested on Sunday, in connection to the Malayalam actress' abduction and molestation case, have been sent to a 14-day judicial custody by the Aluva court, yesterday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 20 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on the complaint of Enforcement Directorate, on Monday registered a case against its former director A.P. Singh and meat exporter Moin Qureshi along with others.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 20 (ANI): The authorities of Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) on Monday carried out an inquiry into the breach of separation incident at Kolkata Airport which took place on December 11, 2016.

Full Story >>

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday announced that a special comprehensive plan will be put in place for the development of the Most Backward Classes (MBCs) in the state.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): Coming down heavily upon Tamil Nadu speaker for giving decision in Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palanisamy's favour, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president M.K. Stalin on Monday said his party will bring a no confidence motion against the speaker in the state assembly.

Full Story >>

Yadgir, (Karnataka),[India] Feb. 20 (ANI): As many as eight people were killed after a collision between a tempo and a cement tanker took place on Monday in Karnataka's Yadgir.

Full Story >>

Kigali (Rwanda),[India] Feb. 20 (ANI): Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari today met Rwandan Senate President Bernard Makuza in Kigali and discussed ways to enhance bilateral ties.

Full Story >>

Kota, (Rajasthan),[India] Feb. 20 (ANI): A fire broke out at a petrol pump in Rajasthan's Kota while refuelling on Monday.

Full Story >>

Bengaluru, (Karnataka),[India] Feb. 20 (ANI): The parents of children studying in a private school in Bengaluru gathered around the school after they heard that a three-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by an employee.

Full Story >>