Govt cracks down on four NGOs
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WITHIN days of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blaming foreign-funded NGOs for instigating anti-nuclear protests in Koodankulam, the government today booked four NGOs for violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act and deported one German national for reportedly helping the protestors.
Home Secretary R K Singh told reporters that the bank accounts of these four NGOs were frozen after it was found that they had been diverting money received from their donors abroad into funding the protests at Koodankulam. He said cases for violation of FCRA provisions had been registered, but did not name the NGOs. Cases have been registered by the Crime Branch of Tamil Nadu police as well as the CBI, he said.
Meanwhile, a German national, 49-year-old Sonnteg Reiner Hermann, was deported this morning after being charged with helping the protestors. Hermann, who was in India on a tourist visa, was found to be "roaming" around the plant site for the last few days. He was picked up by the Tamil Nadu police from Nagercoil and asked to leave the country immediately.
Last week, the Prime Minister had blamed NGOs "often funded from the United States and Scandinavian countries" for leading the agitation at Koodankulam, where India is setting up two 1000-MW nuclear reactors with Russian help.
Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy said the German national was violating the terms of his visa and was "actively involved" in the protests. He said the action against the NGOs was "long overdue". "There is a clear case of foreign money being misused by some NGOs in Koodankulam. The protests are obviously engineered," he said.