New Delhi: Accusing Amnesty International of conspiring to “defame PM Modi, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday demanded to ban the organisation from operating in India. The Chief Minister indicated the role of Amnesty International and certain sections in the Pegasus snooping controversy which targeted to defame PM Narendra Modi. Sarma said that the scandal was a deliberate attempt to create dissatisfaction among the people.
“They (some media outlets) said these (persons) are potential targets but can’t confirm if their privacy was compromised. What kind of journalism is this? Amnesty International & certain other int’l groups are hell-bent to defame India’s democracy & leadership,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma.
He strongly demanded that the government bans functioning of Amnesty International.
“I request Govt of India to ban the functioning of Amnesty International in the country. I feel the Congress party should join hands with Govt in criticising Amnesty International. They can’t defame our country like this all the time,” added Sarma.
Amnesty and the government were at logger heads over allegations of illegal foreign funds and that it never registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act. In its response, Amnesty said it is compliant with all Indian and international laws required to receive funds.
Early this year, the Enforcement Directorate attached movable properties worth Rs17.66 crore as part of a money laundering probe. This was followed by multiple raids on its India’s offices, and freezing of bank accounts in September last year, which forced it to let go of dozens of staff members.
In a statement Amnesty said: “…the complete freezing of Amnesty International India’s bank accounts by the government of India… brings all the work being done to a grinding halt.”