A non-government organisation on Tuesday accused the central government of stifling people’s struggles related to land, forests and water by freezing its account on the ground of “public interest.”
The home ministry had frozen the bank account of the Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) under Foreign Contributions Regulation Act for 180 days on the ground that the foreign contributions to the organisation is likely to “prejudicially affect public interest”.
The civil society group had been in forefront of protests against the government nuclear plants in Kudakulum in Tamil Nadu and in Jaitapur in Maharashtra and people movement against Posco’s steel plant in Orissa.
“Freezing of bank account cannot stifle democratic voice of dissent,” said Anil Chaudhary of INSAF, while disclosing that more than 300 organisations have protested against the government’s decision. NSAF is a network of more than 700 NGOs involved in grassroots activities and people's struggles.
Achin Vanaik of Delhi University said globalisation of resistance is here to stay. “The double standard of the government is quite visible. It is so beholden to foreign direct investment (FDI) but it is acting against the unification of resistance which is globally vibrant gives meaning to democracy,” he said.
Another civil society activist Shabnam Hashmi sought immediate withdrawal of the suspension order or else threatened to demonstrate before the residence of the Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.