The Union government on Tuesday denied Amnesty International’s statement of halting all its activities in India due to freezing of its accounts and claiming that the company is being subjected to an “incessant witch-hunt” over unfounded and motivated allegations and gave a scathing reply that is sure to shut the sympathizers of Amnesty.
The government boldly titled the statement as, “Human Rights cannot be an excuse for defying the law of the land” and clearly stated that Amnesty International had received permission under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) only once and that too, 20 years ago (19.12.2000). Since then Amnesty International, despite its repeated applications, has been denied FCRA approval by successive governments since as per law it is not eligible to get such approval, the government clarified.
“In order to circumvent the FCRA regulations, Amnesty UK remitted large amounts of money to four entities registered in India, by classifying it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). A significant amount of foreign money was also remitted to Amnesty (India) without MHA’s approval under FCRA. This mala fide rerouting of money was in contravention of extant legal provisions.” the statement released by MHA read.
In 2009, Amnesty International was forced to halt its operations after the UPA government had refused to grant it permission to access funds from its London headquarters. The Home Ministry had rejected its application to seek overseas funds twice since 2006. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in 2018 had also raided the office of Amnesty India in Bengaluru in connection with allegations of FCRA violations.
Reported by TFI previously, it is pertinent to note that one entity of Amnesty is a “for-profit” which they proudly display as a “taxpaying entity” on their website and the other is a non-profit entity registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
The Home Ministry didn’t hold back its punches when it dubbed Amnesty’s alleged ‘Human-rights work’ as glossy statements.
“All the glossy statements about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power are nothing but a ploy to divert attention from their activities which were in clear contravention of laid down Indian laws. Such statements are also an attempt to extraneously influence the course of investigations by multiple agencies into the irregularities and illegalities carried out over the last few years.” read the statement.
Ever since the Modi government assumed power, it has relentlessly cracked down on the foreign funding of the NGOs, who while working on Indian soil, serve vested interests and to the detriment of India. Amnesty International is no different as it has been time and again found romancing with anti-India elements, all whilst wearing the garb of a human-rights organization.
Amnesty International India and its former head Aakar Patel have time and again come up with antics that prove that neither Amnesty nor Patel have anything to do with any ‘humanitarian work’ in the country.
Since PM Modi ascended to the power corridors of New Delhi in 2014, Patel, who harbours deep-seated and intense hatred for PM Modi and the BJP in particular, has been leveling insinuations and unfounded allegations against them to gin up discontent against the Modi government among the people.
Earlier this year, a case was registered against Aakar Patel for posting offensive content on social media, which allegedly sought to instigate a section of people against the government.
Hate monger Aakar Patel's account witheld because he was trying to incite riots.
Twitter didn't suspend his account for such hate tweets, just restricted in India. pic.twitter.com/roSTockfgb
— Ankur Singh (@iAnkurSingh) June 11, 2020
In July, while sharing a report of Black Lives Matter protest, Patel had urged the Muslim community, women, and SC/ STs in India to protest in a similar manner for the ‘world to notice’, opining that ‘protests are a craft’. Shortly after, he was also blocked on Twitter.
In November last year, Patel had compared the Supreme Court of India to that of Pakistan’s in 1954 when the then Governor-General, Ghulam Muhammad had unlawfully dismissed the Pakistan Constituent Assembly with the backing of the nation’s apex court.
Aakar Patel has been one of the strongest propagandists of the fake narrative of “Hindu terror”. Reported by TFI, in one of his articles, Aakar had linked Giriraj Singh’s comments on Indian obsession with white skin to extremism and terrorism by Hindus. This points at his uncanny ability to blow things out of proportion and twist statements into an entirely different dimension, all in order to further his narrative.
Earlier this week, Patel was arrested and later let out on bail for posting offensive content against the Ghanchi community in Gujarat. Patel was arrested by Surat Police on a complaint filed by BJP MLA from Surat West constituency and president of the Samast Gujarati Modhvanik Samaj, Purnesh Modi, who alleged in his complaint that Patel made three objectionable tweets on June 24 and 27 against the community. The FIR was filed on July 7 this year.
The amended FCRA has spelled doom for Amnesty International and its India operations and thus the foreign NGO tried its best to go down swinging one last time by pinning the blame of its ‘shut down’ on the government when the truth is far from it. Amnesty International can cry us a river but it isn’t going to change the facts which have been laid bare by the government.