Amnesty International India, which is facing investigations for violation of regulations, has published an article saying India is becoming a dangerous place for human rights defenders. The reason for them making this grave allegation is a statement by ‘activist’ Arun Ferreira saying that he was “hit” by an investigating police officer. Ferreira alleged before a court that he was hit on his face eight to ten times by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Shivaji Pawar during interrogation.
Arun Ferreira was one of the ‘urban naxals’ arrested by Maharashtra police for their links with Maoist terrorists. Although organisations like Amnesty paints them as human rights defenders, they are actually sympathisers and active supports of left-wing terrorists, according to evidence recovered by police. Amnesty says it “believes that arrests in relation to the Bhima Koregaon incident, are politically motivated and are aimed at chilling peaceful dissent”. On the other hand, police have reiterated several times that they have proof of the link between the activists and the Maoists. Police say the activists instigated the Bhima Koregaon violence. During raids, police have also recovered letters which indicated that the activists were active participants in terror activities by Maoists, include in a plan to assassinate the prime minister of India.
In an exclusive interview with OpIndia, former Maoist leader Pahad Singh had revealed that Arun Ferreira was present in meetings of the Maoists. In 2006, Singh witnessed Ferreira attending a division meeting of the terrorists, which was attended by central committee members of the banned outfit.
There are several such proofs of links of the urban naxals with the red terrorists, but for Amnesty International, they are human rights activists, who routinely keeps silence on terror attacks by the Naxals.
Amnesty India itself is found to be in conflict with the law, and facing investigations for its financial dealings. Last month, its head offices in Bengaluru was raided by Enforcement Directorate. The NGO is accused of violating FCRA and FEMA laws. Despite being not registered under FCRA, Amnesty was receiving foreign funds. To do that, they had registered four companies and routed foreign contributions through them, which is a violation of FEMA rules.
If Ferreira was indeed mistreated by police, the court will take appropriate action. But that Amnesty, which is itself under investigation, prefers to call a man with alleged links to Maoists as a ‘Human Rights Activist’ just to paint India in poor light, proves that Amnesty has a larger agenda that must be scrutinised.