Aakar Patel, the chair of Amnesty India, made a stop at Bengaluru Airport

Amnesty India: On April 6, Aakar Patel, the chair of the human rights organization Amnesty International India, said he was barred from flying to the United States from Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). He claimed in a social media post that he was informed by immigration officials that he had been placed on the CBI’s exit control list, despite the fact that he had received his passport back through a court order specifically for the trip to the United States.

He tweeted, “A CBI officer called to say I’m on the Look-Out Circular due to the case the Modi government has filed against Amnesty International India.” He sent a message to the Prime Minister’s Office, asking for clarification. “I was taken aback because I had no idea a lookout circular had been issued against me.” He told The Hindu, “I should have been informed of this, which would have given me the opportunity to challenge it legally.”

Mr. Patel was scheduled to give a lecture tour of three universities in Michigan, Berkley, and New York about the attack on India’s civil society and his new books.

“The government has demonstrated how the country’s civil society is under attack. This comes shortly after journalist Rana Ayyub was detained in a similar manner. These travel restrictions have repeatedly failed to withstand legal challenges, but the government persists. “I’m looking into my legal options in this case and plan to challenge the Look-out Circular as soon as possible,” he said.

CBI is investigating Amnesty India

The CBI is investigating alleged irregularities in foreign funding in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, according to the Look-out Circular (FCRA). In Bengaluru and Delhi, it carried out a series of raids and searched the offices of Amnesty International India Private Limited (AIIPL) and Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT).

In September 2020, the NGO announced that its work in India had been hampered because the government had frozen all of its bank accounts. Mr. Patel’s passport, on the other hand, was seized in Surat, Gujarat, in connection with a separate case brought by a BJP MLA, he said. 

“I went to the court and specifically requested that my passport be released for this trip.” The Gujarat government fought and opposed my travel in court, but it was unsuccessful. “Now they’ve issued a Look-out Circular against me, which I was completely unaware of,” he explained. 

Share This:

Leave a Comment