The Tamil Nadu government has scrapped Greenpeace India Society’s registration and ordered the environmental group to shut down its operations in the country.
Greenpeace India responded by accusing the state’s registrar of society of acting at the behest of the ministry of home affairs (MHA) that has targeted the green NGO over the past two years.
“The MHA’s clumsy tactics to suppress free speech and dissenting voices are turning into a major national and international embarrassment for this government,” Greenpeace India executive director Vinuta Gopal said in a statement.
“This is an extension of the deep intolerance for differing viewpoints that sections of this government seem to harbour,” Gopal said, insisting that the group was “on strong legal ground”.
Thursday’s order cancelling the society’s registration gave Greenpeace India one month to pass a special resolution to dissolve itself. It said if this wasn’t done, the registrar of societies would appoint an official liquidator to wind up the society.
The NGO can appeal against the decision before the appellate authority in the government before it moves the court.
Greenpeace executive director also accused the registrar of passing the order without granting Greenpeace a hearing and complying with the Madras High Court order to address each of their points and queries.
“This is a blatant attempt to circumvent the legal process and shows no respect for the law. We are confident that we are on strong legal ground. We have faith in the legal process and are confident of overcoming this order,” she added.
In September, the home ministry had told the Delhi high court that the government had cancelled its license to get foreign funding.
(With inputs from PTI)