Amnesty International has been a vocal critic of the Modi government's treatment of minorities and alleged abuses by Indian security forces in the disputed region of Kashmir.

Amnesty had also faced sedition charges, later dropped, over a 2016 event to discuss human rights violations in Kashmir.
Amnesty had also faced sedition charges, later dropped, over a 2016 event to discuss human rights violations in Kashmir. (AFP)

Amnesty International's former India chief has said he was stopped from flying to the United States because of government legal action against the human rights watchdog.

Aakar Patel said on Wednesday that he was stopped from boarding his flight to the United States at the airport in the southern city of Bangalore because he was on an "exit control list."

He wrote on Twitter that he was then contacted by the country's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and told he was prevented from leaving "because of the case Modi govt has filed against Amnesty International India."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration has long been accused of trying to silence critics, and activists say they have been targeted for harassment since he took office in 2014.

READ MORE: India blocks 22 YouTube news channels citing 'national security'

Amnesty halts operations

Amnesty halted its India operations in 2020 after the government froze its bank accounts in what the group said was part of an official "witch hunt".

Amnesty's Bangalore offices had been raided two years earlier by the Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes in India.

The group had also faced sedition charges, later dropped, over a 2016 event to discuss human rights violations in India-administered Kashmir.

Last week, prominent Indian activist and writer Rana Ayyub was prevented from flying to London to speak about the intimidation of journalists in India.

Ayyub, a fierce government critic, tweeted that she was stopped at the Mumbai airport because of a probe into an alleged money laundering case against her.

Delhi's high court gave the 37-year-old permission to fly on Monday.

READ MORE: UN rapporteurs slam 'misogynist' attacks on Indian Muslim journalist

Source: TRTWorld and agencies