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Greenpeace India's license suspended

Greenpeace Indias license suspended

New Delhi: The Indian government on Thursday announced it has "temporarily" suspended the registration of Greenpeace India under the foreign contributions law for "under-reporting" such funding it and conducting transaction of such funds without informing the authorities as required by the law.

Along with the 180-day suspension, the ministry of home affairs froze all seven bank accounts of the organisation and served it a show-cause notice seeking explanation why its license should not be cancelled.

Greenpeace India, however, has received "no official communication" from the ministry, the NGO said in a statement.

"This is a smear, pure and simple. All of this was put before the Delhi High Court when we brought a case against the centre, and the court decided in our favour," said Greenpeace India executive director Samit Aich.

Posted on the ministry's website, the order found the association in violation of rules under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act for transferring "foreign contribution received in the FCRA designated account to FCRA utilization account and from there to... five other bank accounts without informing authority concerned".

It further said: "The association has under-reported and repeatedly mentioned incorrect amount of foreign contribution received in violation... of FCRA, 2010."

Divya Raghunandan, Greenpeace India programme director, dismissed the charges as based on "bunch of minute technicalities".

"We are confident that we will be able to rebut and respond to these charges that are based on minor technicalities, as told to us by our lawyers and chartered accountant," Raghunandan told IANS.

Greenpeace India also claimed that they were being targeted for expressing dissent and protesting against "crony capitalism" that supported a coal mine project in Mahan forest of Madhya Pradesh's Singrauli district.

Aich added that they "will continue to work towards clean air, clean water and inclusive development in India".

Security agencies, in their reports to the home ministry earlier, had recommended cancellation of Greenpeace India's FCRA registration, terming it a threat to national economic security.

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