India cancels foreign funding license of Greenpeace local unit

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 03, 2015 2:07 PM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's government has canceled a license that allowed Greenpeace International's Indian unit receive donations from abroad, the environmental group said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government suspended the group's license in April and blocked foreign funds in many of its bank accounts. The government said Greenpeace misreported funds and spent money to obstruct developmental projects.

The action was part of a wider crackdown -- New Delhi has in recent months tightened surveillance on foreign-funded non-governmental organizations, cancelling several of their licenses.

"It is yet another attempt to silence campaigns for a more sustainable future and transparency in public processes," Vinuta Gopal, interim co-executive director at Greenpeace India, said in a statement late on Thursday.

The government says it has found holes in Greenpeace's balance sheet. The group rejects the allegations and has launched a legal action against Modi's government.

In May, a New Delhi court allowed Greenpeace to gather domestic donations.

"Since the majority of our funding comes from Indian citizens, most of our work can indeed continue," the Greenpeace statement said.

India's home ministry has also placed the private U.S. Ford Foundation on a watch list.

Reuters could not immediately reach the home ministry for a comment outside regular business hours.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)