Former Amnesty India chief Aakar Patel on Wednesday claimed on social media that he has been barred from leaving India. Patel tweeted that immigration officials informed him that the CBI has put his name in the list of exit controls. The news came days after the Enforcement Directorate barred journalist Rana Ayyub from leaving India in a money laundering case.
Akar Patel wrote in his tweet, “I was stopped from going abroad at Bangalore airport. My name is in the exit control list. I got my passport back after a court order for this trip to US.”
Patel further wrote in his tweet, “Immigration officers say that I have been put in this list by CBI, why Prime Minister?”
Patel wrote, “CBI officer said I am on look-out circular as Modi government has registered a case against Amnesty International India.”
Amnesty International has reacted to the incident. “Indian authorities must immediately lift the arbitrary travel ban imposed on Indian human rights activist and Chair of @AIIndia Board Aakar Patel,” Amnesty Internation tweeted.
Aakar Patel is the co-author of a report from ‘Rights and Wrongs’ on the Gujarat riots. He has also written a book called “Price of the Modi Years”. While talking to ‘The Wire’ during the discussion on this book, Aakar Patel had called PM Narendra Modi ‘reckless’ and ‘haste’. Aakar Patel cited the 2016 demonetisation decision and the nationwide lockdown during the Corona pandemic to claim that both the decisions were taken without consulting cabinet colleagues.
The CBI had registered a case against Amnesty International India and its three affiliates in November 2019 following a complaint filed by the Union Home Ministry for alleged violation of provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and IPC. A case was registered against Amnesty International India Private Limited, Indians for Amnesty International Trust, Amnesty International India Foundation Trust, Amnesty International South Asia Foundation (AISAF) in this case.
It said that Amnesty International UK had allegedly paid Rs 10 crore as FDI to entities of Amnesty India without the approval of the ministry.
Rana Ayub, who is facing money laundering charges by the ED, was also stopped from leaving India at the Mumbai airport last week. Later the Delhi High Court allowed her to travel.