NEW DELHI (AP) — Greenpeace said Friday its registration to operate in India has been canceled under orders from the country's home ministry.
The environmental group said in a statement that it would challenge the decision in court.
India began cracking down on foreign-funded charities last year after a government intelligence bureau report said economic growth was hurt when the groups rallied communities against polluting industries.
In April the government suspended Greenpeace India's registration for six months, saying it was underreporting foreign contributions and using them without government clearance. Greenpeace challenged the order in court.
Greenpeace India said Tamil Nadu state, where it was registered, canceled the permit without giving the group a hearing.
Vinuta Gopal, the group's interim executive director, said in a statement that the state registrar of societies was "clearly acting under directions from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi, which has been trying to shut Greenpeace India down for over a year now."
Ministry officials were unavailable for comment after normal working hours Friday.
The 2014 intelligence report specifically criticized foreign-funded charities and groups for organizing public protests against nuclear power plants, uranium mines, coal-fired power plants, genetically modified crops and electronic waste.
It also accused the groups, including Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Action Aid, of providing reports "used to build a record against India and serve as tools for the strategic foreign policy interests of Western governments."
Many of India's 400 million impoverished people — who earn less than $1.25 a day and rely heavily on foraging for food, fresh water or firewood — are affected by environment degradation. Indians breathe some of the world's dirtiest air, bathe in polluted rivers and face water scarcity.
Gopal said the cancellation of the group's registration was "a blatant attempt to circumvent the legal process and shows no respect for the law. "
"We are confident that we are on strong legal ground. We have faith in the legal process and are confident of overcoming this order," she said.