NGOs Use Funds for Fuelling Protests: IB Report to PMO

New Delhi
NGOs Use Funds for Fuelling Protests: IB Report to PMO

An Intelligence Bureau report to the Prime Minister's Office and other departments has noted that funding of several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) is "cleverly disguised" as donations for issues like human rights and instead used for funding protests to stall developmental projects.

These funds were mostly used to fuel protests against developmental projects relating to coal, bauxite mining, oil exploration, nuclear plants and linking of rivers, resulting in stalling or slowing down of these projects, the report said.

The report submitted to the PMO and other important ministries like Finance and Home also claims that laptop of one of the foreign activists of an NGO contained scanned map of India with 16 nuclear plants (existing and proposed) and five Uranium mine locations marked prominently.

It said that some organisations in Western countries have also developed "deniability" by pursuing "transit-funding models" where by European donors and also governments are asked to fund some NGOs in India.

"These include the Netherlands and Danish governments and multiple state funded donors based in these countries, apart from some Scandinavian NGOs, which normally focus on the environmental impact of development," the report, submitted also to National Security Adviser and Cabinet Secretariat, alleged.

It said that in the last few years, the country has been facing problems from these organisations which have stepped up efforts to encourage growth retarding campaigns in India, focused on extractive industries including anti-coal, anti-uranium and anti-bauxite mining, oil exploration, Genetically modified organisms and foods, climate change and anti-nuclear issues. 

The report named two anti-nculear organisations--National Alliance of Anti Nuclear Movements (NAAM) and People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)-- spearheaded by US-educated S P Udayakumar who allegedly received "unsolicited contract" from a US university.

During effective monitoring, "Udaykumar's contact in Germany -- Sonntag Rainer Hermann -- was deported from Chennai on 2012 and his laptop contained scanned map of India with 16 nuclear plants (existing and proposed) and five Uranium mine locations marked prominently," the report said.

The map also included contact details of "50 anti-nuclear activists hand written on small slips of paper along with Blackberry PIN graph and was sent through email to five prominent anti-nuclear activists including Udayakumar."

"Sustained analysis revealed that the name slips on the map were hand-written in order to avoid possible detection by text search algorithms installed e-gateways," it said.

When contacted, Udayakumar denied all these charges as "ridiculous and libellous" and said that he feared for his life. He said Hermann is not his "contact in Germany" and rather was an acquaintance from Nagercoil, his hometown in Tamil Nadu. Hermann participated in anti-nuclear events and "I did not receive any information or maps or monetary helps from him, nor did I give him any.

"If he had done something illegal or dangerous why did the Indian authorities deport him hurriedly without taking any legal action? I asked this question even when he was deported in February 2012," he said.

Udayakumar also debunked the claims that anti-nuclear protests were being sponsored from abroad saying "in my humble opinion, Indian authorities must begin to believe that "ordinary citizens" such as farmers and fisher folks have a mind of their own and can take an intelligent stand on issues such as setting up a nuclear power park or other such dangerous projects in their backyard."

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