Amnesty not involved in anti-national acts: Karnataka Minister

Bengaluru: Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara on Saturday said Amnesty International India was not involved in anti-national activities though some anti-India slogans were learnt to have been raised by some participants at an event it organised in the city last week.

“Amnesty International is not new to Bengaluru, as it has been functioning here for a long time. I don’t know and I have not heard in the past about it (Amnesty) or anyone from it involving in anti-national activities,” Parameshwara said at a party function held to celebrate the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi here.

The controversial non-government organisation is caught in a crossfire for organising a cultural programme on August 13 where anti-India and “Azadi” slogans were allegedly raised by some participants who are yet to be identified by the state police.

“Though it’s (Amnesty) role at the event is being investigated, unfortunately, political parties like the BJP and its affiliated outfits like ABVP are misleading hundreds of students to stage protests and demonstrations instead of asking them to attend college and focus on studies,” Parameshwara asserted.

Lashing out at the BJP and ABVP for “misguiding the youth”, the minister questioned the culture of politics practised by the party and its outfits as they were playing with the life of innocent students who were not aware of anything.

“What kind of society you are trying to build. They (protesters) are students who are not aware of anything,” Parameshwara reiterated.

Undeterred by the caning of its activists on Friday at the Amnesty office in the city’s eastern suburb, about 100 Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists are staging a 48-hour day-night protest at Anand Rao Circle in the city centre, seeking the arrest of Amnesty officials and those who raised slogans against the country and the army at its event.

BJP leaders, including its former Home Minister R. Ashok, criticised the police for caning the students and sought closure of Amnesty’s office “for allowing anti-national activities in the country”.