ABVP members were lathicharged on Friday when they protested outside the Amnesty International India’s office in Bengaluru. They were protesting for the third consecutive day in the city.
Several students have been injured while many others have been detained by the police. They began their protest in front of Amnesty’s office in Indiranagar around 11 am.
About 50 ABVP activists began their protest in front of Amnesty’s office in Indiranagar around 11 am.
Police had barricaded the entrance to the building where Amnesty’s office is located. ABVP members however, broke past the barricade and went right up to the entrance.
Police told the protesters to clear out in 10 minutes but the ABVP members refused to listen. They raised slogans for about 45 minutes. At some point, an ABVP activist shouted and told Amnesty to vacate the building in five minutes or they would force them to vacate. By this time, about 30 more activists joined the protest.
Activists attempted to burn an effigy at the site. In a press release issued later in the evening, the police said that they had told the activists to take the effigy to the road, but they did not do so.
“The protestors were in no mood to listen when they were requested to take the effigy to the road. Moreover the protesters were carrying petrol bottles in their hand. They wanted to use these bottles once they gained entry into the office. In order to protect the premises and the officials of the Amnesty International from being harmed, the protestors were removed from there by using force,” the release said.
The police lathichaged the protesters, injured several people. Witnesses said that two of the ABVP members were so badly injured that they were taken to the hospital by their fellow activists. Two others, were later taken to the hospital by the police.
Amnesty had said that it had advised its employees across India to work from home from Thursday as there was a perceived threat to its employees. It’s Bengaluru office has 86 employees.
According to media reports, about 40 ABVP members have been injured and over 70 detained by the police.
On August 17, the ABVP staged state-wide protests with large turnouts in Hubballi, Shringeri and Mangaluru where their organization has a strong presence.
They have been protesting against Amnesty’s event on Kashmir called Broken Families, for which it had invited families living in the valley to narrate experiences of losing family member to alleged brutalities by the armed forces.
Rajesh Padmar, an RSS member tweeted saying the ABVP State Joint Sec Veena was heavily injured after the lathicharge.
(This story has been updated.)