Greenpeace India may shut shop

Greenpeace India may shut shop

Greenpeace India on Tuesday said its “imminent shutdown is looming large” as the organisation has funds that can support its operations for just a month.

Addressing the staff, Executive Director of Greenpeace India Samit Aich asked them to prepare for the eventuality while emphasising that they would mount a fresh legal challenge against the government’s action.

Describing the government action to suspend its registration and block accounts as “strangulation by stealth”, he asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh to admit that the government was “trying to shut” Greenpeace because of its successful campaigns.

“I just made one of the hardest speeches of my life but my staff deserves to know the truth. We have one month left to save Greenpeace India from complete shutdown, and to fight Home Ministry indefensible decision to block our domestic accounts,” Aich said in a statement.

The NGO said the government’s decision to block its bank accounts could lead to not only the lost of jobs for 340 employees, but a “sudden death for its campaigns” which strived to represent the voice of the poor on issues of sustainable development, environmental justice and clean and affordable energy.   

Formal response

The Union Home Ministry had last month issued a show cause notice to Greenpeace India asking why its registration for receiving foreign funds should not be cancelled. The government had claimed that the NGO was acting against the economic interests of the country.

Greenpeace India is preparing its formal response to this decision as well as a fresh legal challenge. “The question here is why are 340 people facing the loss of their jobs? Is it because we talked about pesticide-free tea, air pollution, and a cleaner, fairer future for all Indians?” he said.

Priya Pillai, a senior campaigner with Greenpeace, said, “I fear for my own future, but what worries me much more is the chilling message that will go out to the rest of Indian civil society and the voiceless people they represent.”

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