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Greenpeace to continue India operations till June

Greenpeace to continue India operations till June

New Delhi: Greenpeace India on Thursday said it will keep operating in the country till June as its staff was willing to work without pay to ensure that the NGO doesn't "disappear completely" in the next few weeks.

Facing a possible closure in the country following the home ministry's decision last month to block its accounts, the environmental NGO's executive director Samit Aich in a press interaction here said his staff was ready to work without pay in June.

"Today my staff sent me a very moving letter in which they promised to work without pay for one month. I hope it will not come to this and my staff and their families avoid this hardship. But if necessary, we are able to keep the basic functions of Greenpeace India running until the end of June."

"Over 30,000 supporters have now signed a petition to the home ministry, calling on the home minister to end the crackdown on civil society groups and unfreeze our accounts," Aich said.

The Delhi High Court will on May 26 hear Greenpeace India's writ petition which challenged the suspension of its Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence and the block on its national and international bank accounts.

Aich said he had great faith in the Indian judicial system and was hoping for a positive outcome.

He invited Greenpeace supporters from around the world to sign an open letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, urging him to lend his voice in support of free speech in India.

"We are confident of our case and are hopeful that the court will grant us relief on Tuesday. But the wheels of justice can take time, and we need to make sure we don't disappear completely in the next few weeks. This plan enables us to do that."

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