Saturday, Nov 22, 2014

Nexus between govt, industry at work against us: Greenpeace

Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Posted: June 20, 2014 4:25 pm | Updated: June 20, 2014 4:32 pm

Hit by the Intelligence Bureau (IB)’s reports over its activities in India, NGO Greenpeace India on Friday alleged that a “nexus between industry and government” was at work against it.

“We have in our campaigns made enough stakeholders extremely uncomfortable. The nexus between industry and government is a well-known plot.

“For me, there is certainly a hint of some influence. It is common sense to believe that some people are really upset,”  said Samit Aich, Executive Director, Greenpeace India.

Talking to PTI, Aich said that Greenpeace will not wind up its activities in India in the light of the two IB reports pertaining to it and would take legal steps to defend its constitutional rights.

“That is certainly not an option at all,” Aich said when asked whether the NGO was planning to discontinue operations in India.

Greenpeace has termed “malicious” the two reports IB has submitted against it and said it was being “specifically targeted” for having emerged as one of the primary voices opposing coal mining and nuclear power projects in India.

“This is an attack which Greenpeace has faced in many parts of the world. This is not surprising to us. We will do whatever can be done within the legal system to continue to defend ourselves, the planet and the forest and ecosystem,” Aich said.

In its first report, which was leaked to the media, IB had alleged that Greenpeace and other NGOs were using anti- nuclear, anti-genetic modified food and anti-coal agitations to negatively impact GDP growth in the country.

Then, in a second report submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Adviser, IB recommended cancellation of the permission given to Greenpeace for collecting funds abroad besides calling for a reassessment of its tax compliance.

“We continue to remain financially independent, despite whatever seems to be the narrative. As an organisation, we have 300,000 Indian supporters,” he said.

Aich’s comments come in the wake of the Union Home Ministry asking RBI to seek prior permission from it for any donation to be made to Greenpeace India by two overseas contributors — Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation.

Aich said that although they have sought a communication from Home Ministry about the IB reports, they are yet to receive the same.

“It is amazing that these things are still floating in the air despite the fact that we have written to the ministry a second time after the so-called report broke,” he said.

Aich also questioned “the intention behind the leakage” of the reports to media.

“Why is the media used for such leaks?,” he asked. “We are raising some pertinent issues. We are an environmental organisation. We believe in the values of non-violence.

“We certainly do protest, but we do activism within the norms of the country in a non-violent manner,” he said.

“If anybody who is doing wrong — be it an NGO, any corporation or the government — go after them. Do not be selective,” Aich said.

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