A day after Amnesty International India was booked on the charge of sedition, ABVP activists today staged a huge protest here, demanding arrest of those who allegedly raised slogans against India and the Army at an event on Kashmir held by it.
In a statement today responding to the ABVP allegations mentioned in its complaint, Amnesty International India said they were "without substance".
No Amnesty International India employee shouted any slogans at any point, it said, replying to the charge that? "slogans were raised that Indian Kashmir should be part of Pakistan." Karnataka government said police were examining video and CCTV clippings to identify the culprits.
As ABVP activists held a protest in front of Raj Bhavan and nearby. Police struggled to control the agitated students and tried to baton chase them away.
The students demanded action against Amnesty International and speedy arrest of those who had allegedly raised "pro-freedom" and anti-Army slogans at the event on Saturday.
"The police have been slow in bringing to book the pro-freedom Kashmiris who raised slogans. We demand that the police expedite the investigation and arrest the culprits as soon as possible," BJP MP Pratap Simha said.
Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said police were examining video and CCTV clippings to identify the "pro-freedom" Kashmiris who raised "independence" slogans.
"Police have filed an FIR against Amnesty International India. Police are examining the video and CCTV clippings to identify the pro-freedom Kashmiris who raised independence slogans at the event," he told reporters.
Amnesty International had organised the event as?part of a campaign to seek justice for "victims of human?rights violations" in Jammu and Kashmir, which took an ugly turn with heated exchanges and alleged raising of anti-India and anti-Army slogans.
ABVP activists had submitted a CD containing video recording of the event after filing a complaint with police, who yesterday registered an FIR against Amnesty International.
IPC sections-- 142 (being member of an unlawful assembly), 143 (whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc. and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony) have been invoked against Amnesty.
Asked whether Amnesty International India Executive Director Aakar Patel is likely to be arrested, Parameshwara said, "Not to my knowledge. Not at the moment."
Asked about reports that "anti-India" slogans were also raised by some students at the Sri Siddhartha Institute of Technology in Tumkuru, 70 km from Bengaluru, with which the Home Minister is associated, Parameshwara said an FIR had been registered in that case also and police were investigating it.
"One security fellow says I don't understand what they? (students) said. We don't know at this stage - it is not?very clear. There (Tumkuru) also an FIR has been registered?and they are looking into it," he said.
Asked if any action has been suggested against the culprits, he said action would be taken as per the law. "No, no, no. I will go according to law. Action will be taken according to results obtained from police investigation. Beyond that I don't think I can do anything," he said.
Asked whether the government had swung into action due to the?central government's pressure, Parameshwara denied such? reports, saying the government has its own duty to fulfil.
"It is not like that. Why should the Centre force us to? register a simple FIR?. I don't think so. We have our own duty?to fulfil. If there is any such case, naturally the law will?take its own course and police definitely work under those?laws," he said.
Simha said there has been no FIR filed against Kashmiris who raised the slogans, but only against Amnesty International. An FIR has been registered."
Noting that an FIR had already been registered on sedition charge, he said after an enquiry, police would take action according to law.
Senior BJP leader and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said patriotic and nationalist people could not tolerate "anti-India" slogans.
"What happened in JNU is being repeated here", he said, adding, "this must be stopped."
Yeddyurappa said BJP would fight to ensure that the culprits were brought to book and added that he had written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue.
Amnesty India today said none of its employees were involved in any form of assault against anyone at the event. It said that towards the end of the event, some of those who attended raised slogans, some of which referred to calls for 'Azaadi' (freedom).
But, it said, Amnesty International India as a matter of policy does not take any position in favour of or against demands for self-determination.
However, it considers that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully advocate political solutions.
Amnesty International India had invited Bengaluru police to be present at the event, in the interest of the security of the invited families and other attendees. "We have shared our footage of the event with the police," it said.