According to sources, the raids that began at 2 pm are still in progress in the Indiranagar office of the organisation.

ED raids in the Bengaluru office of Amnesty India
news Raids Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 18:52

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is conducting raids at the office of the Amnesty India in Bengaluru.

According to sources, the sleuths from ED began their raids for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The FCRA regulates the usage of foreign contributions and donations. The raids started at around 2 pm on Thursday, on all four floors of the Amnesty India building in Indiranagar. As per preliminary information, several individuals have also had their laptops confiscated.

Amnesty India had recently issued a statement that said that the raid on media houses was an attempt to hinder the free press. According to reports, Aakar Patel, the Executive Director of Amnesty India, in a statement said that the Income Tax Department's search on Quintillion Media Private Ltd (which runs a news website 'The Quint') and the homes of its owners, Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapoor, indicates a clampdown on the free press.

Rizwan Arshad, the Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress President said that any institution which has been working for the restoration of human rights and raising voices against the high-handedness of the government is being raided. 

"First the government stopped their aid from international institutions and even today they have not explained why their aid was stopped and now they have been raided by the ED," further adding that the ED, the CBI and the Intelligence Bureau seems to have no other work except protecting the interests of the government. 
 
In 2016, the Bengaluru police filed a sedition case on Amnesty India based on a complaint filed by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for organising a programme which sought to project the human suffering of the Kashmir conflict. The police charged Amnesty India under section 124A of the IPC (Sedition—Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law). Cases were also filed on the representatives of Amnesty under sections 142,143, 147, 149 (unlawful assembly and rioting) and Section 153a (promoting enmity between groups).
 
The full statement of ED has been reproduced below.
 
After Amnesty international India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) was denied the permission/registration under FCRA, 2010 by MHA. They resorted to bypass the FCRA Act by floating commercial entity in the name of Amnesty International India Pvt. Ltd (AIIPL). This entity has received foreign funds through commercial route to the extent of Rs 36 crore till date. Out of the total amount of Rs 36 crore. As 10 crore was received as long term loans. This amount was immediately placed in FDs. and another Indian entity, Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT) had established an overdraft facility for Rs. 14.25 crore keeping the said Rs.10.00 crore FD as collateral which means the receipt of FDI by trust only. The remaining Rs.26.00 crore was received in two other bank accounts of AIIPL as "consultancy services". The inwards remittances received by the AIIPL from overseas is in violation of FDI guidelines. In this background, searches are conducted at their Bengaluru office today and further investigation is in progress. 
 

 

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