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Don’t bully charities: Amnesty International tells Modi govt; Congress retweets video

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New Delhi : Protestors from Amnesty International staged a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission in the UK against the alleged “crackdown” on the human rights group in India.

Amnesty UK in a tweet wrote: “PM of India @narendramodi promised to protect human rights… but instead he targets activists & charities! Today, as PM Modi represents #India at #G20Summit, we remind him that strong leaders don’t bully charities.”

Taking the opportunity to mount an attack on the Centre, the Congress retweeted the post by Amnesty UK. Congress had earlier also attacked the BJP-led government for allegedly trying to silence the voice of the non-governmental institutions in the country.

 

“PM Modi is afraid of questions. He is trying to intimidate these institutions,” Karnataka Congress leader Rizwan Arshad had said after the Enforcement Directorate raided the offices of Amnesty India in Bangalore last month.

The raids had led to the freezing the bank accounts of the human rights group. While Amnesty has denied any wrongdoing, Indian authorities have said the raids were aimed at uncovering foreign funding violations by Amnesty in India.

Indian High Commission in the UK, a group of protesters held placards which carried messages of “India: Stop the Crackdown” and “Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Don’t Crush India’s Charities”. The protest comes at a time when PM Modi is attending the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“As more people in India call for equality, accountability and justice, Prime Minister Modi’s government is trying to silence human rights defenders and organisations,” said Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director.

“Amnesty India speaks out for women’s rights, has exposed the use of excessive force against defenceless people, and stood up for indigenous communities whose rights are being violated by large corporations. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in India,” she said.

“The G20 summit has to be more than a photo opportunity for member countries and they must pull their weight to address the increasing crackdown on civil society organisations and human rights defenders by the government of India,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director of Amnesty International India.

The ED, has in the past, frozen over a dozen bank accounts of environmental NGO Greenpeace and its linked entity after it conducted searches at their premises in Bengaluru on charges of alleged forex violations after taking cognisance of the FCRA action against it.


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National

SC dismisses plea seeking ban on roadshows, bike rallies during polls

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea filed by a former DGP of Uttar Pradesh seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India to ban roadshows and bike rallies during polls.

“We are not inclined to entertain this,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepka Gupta told advocate Virag Gupta, who was appearing for petitioners Vikram Singh and Shaivika Agrawal.

Singh, a former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, said in his petition that the roadshows and bike rallies violate EC’s instructions and cause damage to the environment.

 
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Will give PM Modi whistle, cap if he wants to be ‘chowkidar’: Owaisi

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Hyderabad: Akbaruddin Owaisi, the leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for adding ‘chowkidar’ as a prefix in his name on twitter and said that he would provide him with a whistle and a cap if the Prime Minister is interested in such a job.

Speaking at a rally here on Sunday, Owaisi said, “I have seen on Twitter where the names have become as ‘Chowkidar Narendra Modi’, ‘Chowkidar Amit Shah’. Why only one twitter? He should also mention ‘Chowkidar’ in his Aadhaar card, voter-id and passport.”

“We want a PM not a ‘Chaiwala’, ‘Pakodewala’…I am surprised at those who vote for Modi, what kind of person they vote for? If Modi is so interested in being a ‘Chowkidar’, he should come to me, I will offer him a Chowkidar’s cap and a whistle,” he said.

 

Akbaruddin had won from the Chandrayangutta Assembly seat in the last year’s assembly polls in Telangana.

In December 2018, Owaisi was elected as floor leader of AIMIM in the Telangana Legislative Assembly.

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Delhi HC seeks ED’s reply on Vadra’s plea seeking quashing of PMLA case

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New Delhi: Division bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Vinod Goel of Delhi High Court on Monday refused to grant interim relief to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra and Manoj Arora on their plea for quashing of FIR/ECIR by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

The Delhi HC said that it does not want to interfere since the anticipatory bail plea is being heard in the Patiala House Court.

Although, the Delhi HC Court has sought response of ED on their plea that challenges the Constitutional validity of certain sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It has also directed the ED to supply a copy of ECIR to Robert Vadra and Manoj Arora.

 

The next hearing in the matter has been scheduled for May 2.

Robert Vadra had moved Delhi High Court seeking quashing of FIR against him filed by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

The Directorate has questioned Vadra multiple times in connection with the case which pertains London-based properties bought between the years 2005 and 2010.

Meanwhile, the ED filed a reply in the lower court alleging that Robert Vadra is the beneficial owner of various properties under investigation in the case which has been acquired through the proceeds of crime.

The Enforcement Directorate, in its application, had said that investigation is still ongoing and is at a crucial stage. In its reply, it had also sought a ‘free’ hand to a thorough interrogation.

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