The Union Home Ministry on Thursday suspended the registration of Greenpeace India under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) following serious allegations of its involvement in encouraging “anti-development” campaigns across the country.
The organisation’s all seven bank accounts in IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank have been frozen with immediate effect. The order suspending the NGO’s FCRA registration has been issued to the Chief Functionary, Greenpeace India Society, Chennai.
The NGO has also been served a show-cause notice asking why its registration should not be cancelled. Security agencies, in their reports to the MHA, had recommended cancellation of its FCRA registration, terming Greenpeace India a threat to national economic security.
However, a Greenpeace India spokesperson told The Hindu that they were “not aware of such an order from the government”.
Stating that foreign contributions received by Greenpeace India has prejudicially affected the public and the economic interest of the country in violation of the Section 12 (4)(f)(iii) and Section 12(4)(f)(ii) of the FCRA, the government said it also amounted to violation of the conditions of grant of registration certificate.
Accordingly, the Central government has suspended the registration of the organisation, including its branches and units, under the FCRA, for a period of 180 days beginning Thursday. The organisation can make a representation in this regard within 30 days.
Observing that Greenpeace was adversely impacting the national interest and many of its activities could be prejudicial to public interest, the Home Ministry has also taken note of the United Kingdom’s interest in Greenpeace India operations. This despite the fact that its main funding agency — Greenpeace International’s main offices are located in the Netherlands and Germany.
“The UK Parliament had invited Greenpeace India to “testify” against the Indian government in a formal hearing, A UK-based television channel had also sought to internationalise related issues last year,” said an MHA official.
Also, government agencies found that in the past couple of years, several UK nationals, including cyber experts and activists, had visited the NGO’s offices in India allegedly to help it organise protest activities.
In this light, the government has taken exception to Greenpeace India’s participation at the Istanbul Coal Strategy Conference-2012. “At the Istanbul Conference, US-based funding agencies projected India as the primary target for thermal power plant activism,” said the official, alleging that five Greenpeace activists had participated in the conference.
The official said sponsored by US-based Climate Works Foundation (CWF) and World Resources Institute, the Conference had identified 999 thermal power plant sites in the world, of which about 50 per cent were in India, and had resolved to focus on the Singrauli region in India.
CWF, which was recently put on MHA’s watch list, had since then donated Rs.1.4 crore to Greenpeace India. “As follow-up, Greenpeace came up with a three-pronged strategy: to create a network of anti-coal protest movements, target coal block allocations with regulators and in courts/tribunals; and campaign among domestic/foreign investors against Coal India Limited,” the official alleged.