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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Foreign funding in anti-nuke protests: CBI yet to file FIRs

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 11, 2012
First Published: 00:04 IST(11/9/2012) | Last Updated: 00:06 IST(11/9/2012)

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday revived the charges against NGOs leading the Kudankulam protests receiving foreign funding but refused to name the countries that had an "interest" in the protests".

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"Foreign NGOs are also supporting this movement," Shinde told reporters when asked to comment on the anti-nuclear protests in Tamil Nadu.

The first time that a similar charge was levelled by the UPA government was in February this year. NGOs receiving foreign funds cannot use the money for street protests under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had then blamed United States-based NGOs of funding protests against the nuclear power plant. "(They are) not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces," Singh had said.

The home ministry had then filed complaints against the NGOs with the CBI in the first week of March. But seven months on, the CBI has not found evidence to back the allegation and register formal FIRs.

A ministry source explained that it was very difficult for any agency to establish that an NGO had used foreign funds to fund a movement.

"The ministry had referred 12 cases to us for FCRA violation. Only one case (not related to anti-nuke protests) has been registered by the CBI so far," a CBI officer told HT.

But the home ministry is undeterred. "We are careful on this issue. We are aware that some NGOs are very much interested in this. I do not want to name those countries," Shinde said on Monday.

Shinde also pushed for nuclear energy. He acknowledged that nuclear power may be expensive in the initial years but cost would decline within a few years.


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