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Are foreign funds fuelling anti-nuclear protests?

Special Correspondent
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‘It hasn't been proved so far that overseas money is being used for stir. Probe is on”

V. Narayanasamy
V. Narayanasamy

The UPA government on Thursday said a probe was under way into whether foreign funds received by non-governmental organisations were being used for protests against nuclear power projects in India. “It has not been proved so far that money [being sent from overseas] is being used for the protests. Investigation is on in the matter. But the NGOs which are getting money from those countries are actively involved in these protests,” Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy told the Rajya Sabha.

Responding to a short-notice question, he, however, refused to identify the NGOs which were under investigation, and said the information could not be divulged until after the probe was completed.

He said the investigation would reveal the source of funding and the expenditure pattern of the NGOs which were opposing the Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu. A CBI probe had been ordered against two NGOs and two criminal cases referred to the Tamil Nadu police.

Quoting a recent interview of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr. Narayanasamy said while Dr. Singh clearly stated that NGOs from the United States and Scandinavian countries were sending money to people who were involved in the protests here, whether the same money was being used for the stir was not established yet

Referring to an earlier statement by Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Mr. Narayanasamy said four NGOs which were actively involved in activities near the Kudankulam project had been identified.

P. Rupala (BJP) wanted to know why the government was not identifying the ‘anti-social activities' of such NGOs and not initiating criminal action against them.

Mr. Narayanasamy said the Home Ministry, which gives permission to organisations for receiving foreign funds, had frozen the accounts of four NGOs and they were debarred from receiving money.

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