The action came after Greenpeace India supported protests against coal mines in the Mahan forests in Madhya Pradesh, which resulted in a court withdrawing permits for Essar and Hindalco to develop the project.
Defending crackdown on Greenpeace, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said those violating rules and conducting themselves in wrong ways would face punitive action. “Protest is a right of everyone in a democracy. But if anyone violates rules and work in wrong ways, we will take action,” he said.
Rijiju accused Greenpeace India of inciting people against industrial projects saying such activities of an NGO violates the rules of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act under which it was registered. “Any NGO which is registered under the FCRA should follow rules. No one should violate laws, else action will follow,” he said.
The Union Minister of State for Home said the government has not put any restriction on genuine NGOs involved in charity and development works. On September 3, the Home Ministry’s foreigners division, which reports to Rijiju, had cancelled the Greenpeace India’s registration under the FCRA alleging that the NGO was working against the country’s economic progress.
The action came after Greenpeace India supported protests against coal mines in the Mahan forests in Madhya Pradesh, which resulted in a court withdrawing permits for Essarand Hindalco to develop the project.
The government had cited alleged violation of norms by the NGO by opening five accounts to use foreign donations without informing the authorities concerned. While suspending its registration under the FCRA, government had also said the NGO under-reported and repeatedly mentioned inaccurate amounts of its foreign contributions.
Greenpeace had termed the government action as an attempt to “silence campaigns” and said it will not be deterred.