In a sensational development, a show cause notice was issued to Amnesty International India on Thursday by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the alleged violation of FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) under Borrowing and Lending Regulations to the tunes of Rs 51.72 crores for rendering civil society activities in India by getting remittances from parent body Amnesty International (UK) in the garb of export of services. It has been suspected by the ED that the money was diverted by Amnesty for its activities in Kashmir. Charges have been framed by the ED against the organisation in the light of its alleged Kashmir activities.
The investigation carried out by the ED has revealed that the Rs 51.72 crore, which the Amnesty has claimed was received from Amnesty International UK in the garb of export of services, was used for creating 'disturbances in the Valley'. The ED is probing the matter in detail.
This development has come hours after Amnesty International India (AII) launched an 'Urgent Campaign to end protracted blackout in Kashmir', in order to counter the Centre's statements of 100% landline communication restored in the Kashmir Valley. Amnesty launched it #LetKashmirSpeak campaign in a bid to highlight the human cost of the ' communication lockdown', as stated by the organisation in its press release. Even as the situation in Kashmir is being brought back to normalcy by the J&K government, AII head Aakar Patel claimed that 'communication blackout was tearing apart families'.
Earlier, the Kashmir government's Department of Information and Public Relations stated the 100% of landline exchanges were operationalised in the Valley and other parts of J&K, adding that the mobiles were being restored gradually. Communication is being restored in a phased manner, Principal Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Rohit Kansal had affirmed. On Monday, Kansal also maintained that over 90% of the Kashmir valley was free of day time restrictions and restrictions were eased at 92 police station areas out of the 111 police stations in the Union Territory.
In 2018, Amnesty India International's Bengaluru headquarters was raided by a group of ED officers. Responding to the raids, Amnesty India issued a statement, terming the raid as a 'smear campaign'. The organisation had called for 'an immediate end to the smear campaign and an independent inquiry into the selective leaks of information fueling the campaign'. Following the raid, the accounts of Amnesty India were frozen.