FIR against activist Aakar Patel in Bengaluru for controversial comments on social media

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In his tweets, the former head of Amnesty International India had asked Muslims, Dalit, Advasis and women in India to emulate the protests in US against the custodial death of George Floyd.

The Karnataka police have filed a case against human rights activist Aakar Patel for his comments on social media calling for protests like the ones in US over the death of George Floyd in India by the marginalised communities.

The JC Nagar Police in Bengaluru registered the FIR suo motu after taking cognisance of Patel’s tweet on May 31. Patel had posted video clips of the protests against the death of George Floyd in the US at the hands of the police.

In his tweets, the former head of Amnesty International India had asked Muslims, Dalit, Advasis and women in India to protest in a similar fashion. Many people responded to his tweet and sought police action against him.

According to Scroll.in, Nagaraja DR, the inspector at JC Nagar police station, took cognisance of the post and filed a complaint on Monday. He alleged that Patel urged minorities, backward people, the poor and women to agitate.

Patel has been booked under section 505 (1) (b) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or public tranquility), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 117 (abetting commission of an offence by the public or by more than ten persons) of the Indian Penal Code.

“I don’t think the FIR should have been filed and I don’t think it will go anywhere,” Patel told Deccan Herald.

Amnesty International India termed the FIR against Patel as another example of how the right to dissent is being increasingly criminalised in India.

"The Bengaluru police must stop abusing its authority and put an end to the intimidation and harassment of Aakar Patel for exercising his constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression. People of this country have the right to agree or disagree with those in power, and to express these opinions in peaceful protests-without fear of unlawful interferences", ANI quoted Amnesty International India Executive Director Avinash Kumar as saying.

He said that peacefully protesting against the government is not a crime and added that not agreeing with the policies of those in power does not make you a traitor.

Image Credit: Scroll.in

 

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