Environmental watchdog calls it an act of stifling democracy and legitimate dissent

New Delhi | April 14, 2015| Greenpeace India today termed the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) all out attack on the NGO a ‘cynical move to suppress democracy and silence those with an alternative vision of development’. Last week, the MHA had temporarily suspended Greenpeace India’s license to receive money from overseas and served it with a show cause notice for alleged violations of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. However, the MHA’s actions indicate that the alleged FCRA violations are a smokescreen for the government to shut down the NGOs entire operations. Greenpeace India gets almost 70% of its funds from Indians, and the MHA has ordered that these funds be frozen as well. There is no provision in the FCRA Act, 2010 which permits this.

Samit Aich, Executive Director of Greenpeace India today hit back strongly at the government’s actions, saying: “We will follow due process and respond to the MHA’s claims of FCRA violations and take the matter to court. But the government has also blocked our domestic accounts and is now preventing ordinary Indians from supporting our work for clean air, healthy forests, pesticide-free food and a livable environment! This shows quite clearly that the MHA’s real objective is not to restrict our access to foreign funds, but to shut us down completely. In effect the government is dismissing the concerns of the hundreds of thousands of Indians that support our campaigns, and the 70,000 plus Indians who support us financially.”

In the five days since news of the FCRA suspension was leaked by the MHA to media, a number of Indians have come forward to pledge their support for the organisation. However, many have seen their attempts to donate to the NGO blocked, allegedly on directions of the MHA.

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