Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's contention that US and Scandinavian outfits were fuelling protests against Kudankulam power plant in Tamil Nadu was borne out by a government probe, union minister V Narayanasamy said on Friday.
The Prime Minister's view was based on a home ministry probe into the background and funding of these NGOs, the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office said, adding the government had received reports that these organisations were being funded by outfits in both the US and Scandinavian nations.
Manmohan Singh on Thursday contended that organisations based in the US and the Scandinavian nations were backing the months-long protests of villagers against the Russian-aided Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.
The BJP earlier on Friday asked the Prime Minister to clarify his statement made to the Science magazine.
"We have received certain reports about the NGOs in Tirunelveli and Thuthukudi around the Kudankulam project, who are being funded by organisations from the United States and Scandinavian countries," Narayanasamy said.
In an interview to the American magazine Science, Manmohan Singh also said that the nuclear energy programme got into trouble due to the NGOs not appreciating India's need for clean energy.
"The atomic energy programme has got into difficulties because these NGOs mostly, I think, based in the US, don't appreciate the need for our country to increase energy," the Prime Minister said, referring to local NGOs in and around Kudankulam which have stalled the commissioning of two 1,000 MW reactors.
Narayanasamy said that 12 NGOs in Tamil Nadu had received funds.
"It has been investigated by the ministry of home affairs whether the funds received by these NGOs were used for the purposes for which it was meant or not," he said.
The ministry found that some of them violated the norms and the home ministry cancelled the license of three NGOs.
"The ministry is initiating action against one of the NGOs, which did not follow the guidelines. Now the process is going on," he added.
Noting that a massive mobilisation using the funds happened around Kudankulam, the minister indicated that some of the protesters were brought to the site on transport vehicles by the NGOs, which spent money to keep the protesters in good humour.
"I was told that the people who are agitating were brought from various areas on vehicles and trucks. They are also being given good treatment by the organisers," he said.
"The protesters have sat on an hunger strike near Kudankulam project site and have not allowed the workers to get inside. They have incited violence there and, therefore, we found how the money was coming to them," he added.
"Therefore, these apprehensions and concern raised by the Prime Minister are correct," he added.