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Media outside the Amnesty International office building in Bengaluru, where Enforcement Directorate conducted raid in connection with a foreign funding case on Thursday. Photo: PTI
Media outside the Amnesty International office building in Bengaluru, where Enforcement Directorate conducted raid in connection with a foreign funding case on Thursday. Photo: PTI

ED conducts searches at Amnesty International’s Bengaluru office

Enforcement Department searches at Amnesty International’s office were suspected to be related to irregularities in foreign funding

Bengaluru: The Enforcement Department (ED) on Thursday searched the premises of not-for-profit human rights advocacy group, Amnesty International, in Bengaluru, adding to the criticism the agency has faced in recent times including that they were being misused by the Centre to silence critics.

Searches at the rights group were suspected to be related to irregularities in foreign funding.

“Searches were conducted in their premises," one official from the department confirmed, requesting not to be named.

ED officials started their search at 2 pm and all employees have remained inside without access to their cell phones, said one official from Amnesty, who was not present in the office at the time.

He said that the organisation is likely to put out a statement after the searches were complete and they would know the reason for this action.

The ED searches coming days after it carried out searches at offices of The Quint, an online media portal promoted by Raghav Bahl.

The searches, which the department had classified as a ‘survey’ had raised a storm with several voices alleging that the Centre was trying to stifle the freedom of the press.

Amnesty International has around 200 employees in India, spread over six cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.

The organisation had temporarily shut down its offices in the country after the charity was accused of sedition by protesters, Mint reported on 18 August 2016.

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