Amnesty event: ABVP activists storm into college campus, detained

Protesters claim that anti-Indian Army comments were made during the programme

A day after the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) filed a complaint against Amnesty International India for organising an event at the United Theological College (UTC) seeking justice for victims of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, the J.C. Nagar police detained around 30 ABVP activists who stormed into the college premises on Millers Road on Sunday.

The activists, who had taken objection to comments made by some participants during the event on Saturday, held an overnight protest in front of the college. They claimed that the comments were anti-Indian Army.

The police are yet to register a case on the allegations made by the ABVP.

T.R. Suresh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), said that an FIR would be registered only after verifying the complaints and the video footage provided. “The FIR will be registered only if we find any evidence to substantiate the claim made by the complainants,” he said.

On Sunday, the protesters blackened the college board and tried to block the road in front of the college, following which the police took them under preventive detention and dispersed them. A team of police officials were deputed on the college premises till evening.

Amnesty, UTC respond

Amnesty International India said that the right to freedom of expression under the international human rights law protects the right to peacefully advocate political solutions.

“It is important that media attention to the conduct of some participants at the event not serve as a distraction from the important issue of denial of truth and justice to those who have suffered in Jammu and Kashmir,” said Tara Rao, programme director, Amnesty International India.

J.R. John Samuel Raj, principal, UTC, clarified that the college was not connected with the issue or the sponsors and had only rented out the premise. There was no participation of students or teachers at the event.

“The UTC has never been and shall never be a party to issues that would go against the interests and integrity of the nation,” said the principal in a statement to the media. Meanwhile, the Student Federation of India has condemned the “attempt to stifle freedom of expression by the ABVP”.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 10:06:32 AM |

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