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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

IB report on NGOs a cock and bull story: activists

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 13, 2014
First Published: 22:59 IST(13/6/2014) | Last Updated: 01:49 IST(14/6/2014)

Terming the Intelligence Bureau report on non-government organizations (NGOs) as "most unintelligent", civil society activists named in the report said it was a "cock and bull" story and some of them even threatened to launch a defamation suit against the bureau.

"It (the IB report) is a cock and bull story full of innuendoes and unsubstantiated allegations," said Praful Bidwai, who in the report has been accused of guiding a "master network" of activism against nuclear plants.

"The whole idea of master network shows how officials in the intelligence bureau create spy dreams," Bidwai said, rejecting the claim in the report that the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace had received foreign funds. "The report is worrisome as it shows working of our intelligence agencies meant to create credible intelligence for protection of people".

He termed the claim in the report that a German national Sonntag Rainer Hermann had passed on map of nuclear plants as laughable as they were available on the website of Nuclear Power Corporation Limited of India (NPCIL).

Read: 'Most NGOs don’t provide fund info'

Bidwai also quoted The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) report to claim that India losses gross domestic product growth of 7 % every year because of destruction to environment, which was higher than the growth achieved in the last financial year. The report had said that India lost 2-3% of economic growth because of anti-development activities of non-government organizations.

Threatening to initiate defamation proceedings against the intelligence bureau, former Navy chief and Magsasay award winner admiral L Ramdas said the report was leaked to "demean the individuals" and create a scare among people against democratic and participatory approach. "In my long service I have been part of many secret report but I have never seen such a shoddy work," he said at a press conference in Delhi on Friday.

Former director general of Tripura Police KS Subramanian said the report should be placed before Parliament and there should be a debate on it. He added that the report was leaked to create a scare among people who have been protesting against the projects and brand them anti-national.

The IB report to the prime minister had said some foreign-funded NGOs, were being used to fuel protests against developmental projects relating to coal, bauxite mining, oil exploration, nuclear plants and linking of rivers, resulting in slowing down of these projects. 

Udayakumar, who heads the National Alliance of Anti Nuclear Movements (NAAM) and People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) named in the report to have received "unsolicited contract" from a US university, termed the report as baseless and non-sensible.

Read: NGOs can do little economic damage

Refuting the charge (in the IB report) that Sonntag Rainer Hermann, a German national who was deported from Chennai in 2012, was his contact, he said he was an acquaintance from Nagercoil, his hometown in Tamil Nadu.

"Knowing somebody does not make him my sponsor. This is an effort to discourage popular protests from opposing dangerous projects," he said.


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