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Indian Rights Group, Amnesty International Raided By Indian Authorities

The government says its restrictions on rights groups and their “donor-driven activism” were merely to hold them accountable.

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Indian Authorities Raid Amnesty International Office. VOA

India’s economic intelligence unit on Thursday raided the southern Indian office of rights group Amnesty International, alleging it violated laws involving foreign funding.

The raid started in the afternoon and was continuing into the night, group spokesperson Smriti Singh said.

The Enforcement Directorate accused Amnesty International of bypassing Indian laws and illegally receiving 360 million rupees ($4.86 million) from abroad for its activities in the region, according to the New Delhi Television news channel.

 

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An undated supplied image from Amnesty International claiming to show children playing near a fence at the country’s Australian-run detention centre on the Pacific island nation of Nauru.VOA

 

Singh said the group would issue a statement after the raid was over in its office in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state.

Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar defended the government raid, saying it aimed to stamp out any illegal activity.

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government took office in 2014, thousands of humanitarian and rights groups have lost their registrations to receive foreign funding, effectively shutting many down.

amnesty international
Salil Shetty

Thursday’s raid came two weeks after Indian authorities conducted searches in the Bangalore offices of environmental group Greenpeace and other establishments associated with it.

Also Read: Indian Supreme Court Allows Only Green Firecrackers

The government says its restrictions on rights groups and their “donor-driven activism” were merely to hold them accountable. (VOA)

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India Sold Over 204 mn WiFi Devices in 2018: Report

The market research firm predicted smartphones would continue to lead the WiFi enabled devices by installed base

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As many as 204.5 million WiFi enabled consumer devices were sold in 2018, with mobile phones contributing close to 90 per cent of the sales, a new report said on Tuesday.

According to market research firm techARC, WiFi sale of enabled devices is expected to grow at 8 per cent in 2019 with sales touching 221 million units, primarily led by smart and connected devices for home and office automation.

“The future lies in wireless highspeed connectivity and WiFi offers one of the most reliable and affordable alternatives to it. We have seen so far WiFi enablement through legacy IT and communications devices like laptops, routers and smartphones.

“This is now shifting to other consumer electronics like TVs, lighting, ACs and refrigerators. At the same time, it’s also penetrating into automobiles as well as other traditionally dumb IT peripherals like storage devices,” Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst at techARC, said in a statement.

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Youths are seen browsing the internet inside the venue of the launch of Google free wifi project in Lagos, Nigeria. VOA

In terms of active user base, the research firm estimates India is having close to 600 million consumer devices being used for communication, productivity, entertainment and other smart and connected use cases.

Also Read: Love is Central to Friendship on Snapchat in India

The market research firm predicted smartphones would continue to lead the WiFi enabled devices by installed base.

However, the growth will be seen more in smart TVs including streaming devices as well as other home automation/smart devices leveraging WiFi connectivity. (IANS)