Centre seeks to probe 12 more NGOs for ‘fund diversion’ in TN

NEW DELHI: The probe into non-governmental organizations involved in the stir against the Kudankulam nuclear power project may not be limited to four entities. The Centre has written to the Tamil Nadu government seeking a green signal to probe 12 additional cases of ‘fund diversion’ against other organizations under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

At present, cases are being probed by the Tamil Nadu police’s crime branch against two NGOs. These are believed to be Trust for Rural Upliftment and Education and Good Vision Trust. The CBI is expected to register two other cases against Tuticorin Diocese Association and Rural Uplift Centre on the basis of inputs referred to it by the Union home ministry.

“The CBI has recently received two references from the ministry of home affairs alleging contravention of the provisions of FCRA against two Tamil Nadu-based NGOs. These are being examined for appropriate further action,” said an agency official. The agency is awaiting the response of the state government in 12 additional cases.

To a question whether these actions were linked to the anti-nuclear protests in Kundankulam, Chidambaram said, “I have not said a word about Kundankulam…investigation reveal that there appears to be diversion of funds. Therefore, under FCRA we have decided to register cases.”

He did not name the NGOs facing cases and on being asked about MoS in PMO V Narayanasamy’s statements on the anti-nuclear groups he said, “I can’t answer hypothetical questions. Only after investigations details can be revealed. It was for media to speculate.”

Chidambaram said inspection of NGO accounts was routine and initial inspections revealed violations by four NGOs.

The home minister said cases have been filed as “There is reason to believe that funds were diverted from the purpose for which foreign funds were given. Prima facie there is evidence to register cases.”

Talking to TOI over phone from Nagarcoil, Maria James of Rural Uplift Centre said: “Our organization did not at all involve in any kind of fund diversion. We have nothing to do with the protestors of the Kudankulam project.”

Admitting that the account of his organization was frozen on February 13, James said: “We had filed a revision petition with the home ministry on February 21 and waiting for its response. Officials visited our Centre and could not find anything incriminating. We are fully cooperating with all those officers who visited us in connection with the probe”.



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