Seventy-seven NGOs have been put under Government’s watch list and their names have been circulated to Indian missions abroad which have been told to keep a check on visas being considered for members of these organisations.

The Government action comes close on the heels of four NGOs being put under the scanner for allegedly fuelling protests against the Kudankulam nuclear project in Tamil Nadu.

During a high-level meeting on Economic Intelligence recently, it was informed that a list of 77 “suspect” NGOs prepared by the Home Ministry was handed over to the External Affairs Ministry, official sources said.

The list was prepared by the Home Ministry after a discreet probe by security agencies with the help of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Central Economic Intelligence Bureau in which role of some NGO’s especially those based in the United States and European Union was looked into, the sources said.

Minutes of the meeting in which the Intelligence Bureau top brass was present show that the issue figured, highly-placed sources said.

However, Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh has denied that 77 NGOs were being probed. “It is incorrect to say that 77 NGOs are being investigated. We are looking into the accounts of 12-13 Indian NGOs with regard to allegation of funds diversion,” Mr. Singh had said.

According to the minutes of the meeting, the MEA official informed the meeting that the list provided by the Home Ministry had been circulated for “appropriate action.”

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