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Amnesty slams govt decision on Teesta-led NGO

'MHA persecuting Sabrang trust for its founders' work'
Last Updated : 18 June 2016, 19:04 IST
Last Updated : 18 June 2016, 19:04 IST

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Amnesty International India on Saturday said the government  decision to cancel Teesta Setalvad’s NGO’s licence was due to her work in seeking justice for the victims of the Gujarat riots.

The Centre on Thursday cancelled NGO Sabrang Trust’s licence on violation of various FCRA rules, which means it will not be able to collect foreign funds.

Seeking revocation of the decision against Teesta Setalvad-led NGO, Amnesty said it was “not a coincidence” that the most prominent use of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, has been against NGOs “who seek to hold the government accountable” for its actions.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) appears to be persecuting Sabrang for its founders’ work in seeking justice for the 2002 Gujarat riots’ victims,” Amnesty executive director Aakar Patel said in a statement.

“This pattern of using the FCRA as a pretext to go after NGOs that don’t toe the government line needs to stop. The government must end its NGO witch-hunt,” Patel said.

Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand were among those who had helped a section of victims fight the then Gujarat government then led by Narendra Modi. Anand said the MHA's decision was “a mechanical reiteration of the very same allegations made earlier, in total disregard of the detailed and reasoned explanations and arguments put forward by the trust”.

Last Thursday, three United Nations special rapporteurs urged India to repeal the FCRA, which they claimed was being “increasingly used” to obstruct civil society’s access to foreign funding.

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Published 18 June 2016, 19:04 IST

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