A FIR has been registered against journalist and Amnesty International India’s Executive Director Aakar Patel for saying that Muslims and Dalits should do protests like the ongoing protests in the USA againat George Floyd killing. According to a report by Deccan Herald, the case has been filed after Napgaraja DR, a police inspector at JC Nagar police station in Bengaluru accused him with charges of provoking and instigating people from minority communities to organise similar protests across India.
On 31st May, while quoting a tweet by Colorado Times Recorder featuring a video of thousands of people protesting in Capitol in Colorado, Aakar Patel had tweeted that India Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis, women and poor also need to do protests like these. “We need protests like these. From Dalits and Muslims and Adivasis. And the poor. And women. World will notice. Protest is a craft,” he had tweeted.
In the video, thousands of people were seen lying face down on the ground and chanting “I can’t breath”.
The complaint filed by Nagaraja said that Patel called on minorities, backward, poor and women to stage protests like the one seen in the video. He said that several people had objected to Patel’s tweet.
Aakar Patel has been booked under IPC sections 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 against the public tranquility), 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 117 (Abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons).
Police officers have said that cybercrime police and state intelligence officials are monitoring reaction of people towards the violent protests in the US. One officer said that they have taken up the case and probing the matter.
Although the video posted by Aakar Patel showed a peaceful protest, the ongoing protests in the United States have been marked by widescale violence, rioting, arson and looting. The killing of African American George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis had led to nationwide protests, which soon descended into violence and riots. Protesters have attacked police teams and burnt police vehicles, looted retails stores, and burnt down houses and public places, including historic places. Several left-liberals have been calling for similar violent protests by Muslims in India. As a result, security agencies have become vigilant about such posts promoting violence in India in the line of violence in US.
Reacting to the case filed against him, Aakar Patel told Decan Herald, “I don’t think the case should have been registered. I don’t think it will go anywhere.”