Several other NGOs named in the report are also accused of stalling more than seven projects. But IB’s main target seems to be Greenpeace.

news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | June 11, 2014 | 8:32 AM IST 

A report submitted by the Intelligence Bureau to the Prime Minister apparently says that the international NGO working for causes related to environment, Greenpeace, is a national economic threat, an Indian Express article says. The report was on foreign-funded NGOs “negatively impacting economic development” in India.

The allegations are many against Greenpeace, one of them apparently is that they helped the Aam Aadmi Party. Their anti-nuclear struggle was also noted. The Greenpeace will next target the Indian IT industry over the issue of e-waste, the IB report claims, according to Indian Express. The IB report dated June 3 on "foreign-funded NGOs negatively impacting economic development in India" apprised the government that Greenpeace has helped conduct anti-nuclear agitations and mounted "massive efforts to take down India's coal-fired power plants and coal mining activity".

Several other NGOs named in the report are also accused of stalling more than seven projects. But IB’s main target seems to be Greenpeace.

Greenpeace has been working in India since 2001. In India they mostly deal with issues like climate change, sustainable agriculture, preserving the oceans and preventing nuclear catastrophe

Did campaign for Mahan forests turn the tide against Greenpeace?

Speaking to The News Minute, Greenpeace Communications Director said they were surprised at the IB report and believe the IB should have taken their version before preparing the report. Sinha says the last few months have been tough for the organisation as they have taken on two big corporates Hindalco and Essar who are trying to take over coal mines in the Mahan forests of Madhya Pradesh.

"In the last few months, we have faced many challenges. We have been facing a lot of issues after we started a campaign in Mahan.
The corporate even got gag orders against us," Sinha says.

Greenpeace rejects report

"We are not aware of any IB report criticising our work. Our motto is to intimate the government that there exists a serious need to address sustainability of energy delivery system in the country. India is building coal-based electricity but 30 crore people have no electricity," said Greenpeace spokesperson Abhishek Pratap.

Pratap, however, argued the government has shut its eyes to ecological sustainability in the name of coal mining.

"Mindless mining by dislodging people in their own homeland does pose a serious threat to ecological sustainability, besides impacting climate," Pratap maintained. He rubbished reports that Greenpeace has violated the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Act of 2010, and financed sympathetic studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and IIT-Delhi.

"How can the IB come to that conclusion? We have never been served any notice for violating the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Act," Pratap said. 

He added the studies at TISS and IIT-Bombay - he clarified it was not IIT-Delhi - were to outsource the report on health impact and water being diverted in the Vidarbha region respectively. "Yes, money was given by Greenpeace. We wanted to outsource report from IIT-Bombay on water being diverted in the Vidarbha region despite farmers struggling for water for their crops," Pratap said.

He said that contrary to reports, Greenpeace did not support any Aam Aadmi Party candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. "We had asked Pankaj Singh (AAP candidate from Sidhi, Madhya Pradesh) to resign as Greenpeace consultant when he decided to contest election, which was purely a personal decision for him," Pratap clarified.

Pratap vociferously rejected any notion that Greenpeace is renewing its campaign internationally to highlight that Indian IT/ITeS firms do not meet global standards on e-waste emissions.

"The truth is we had recommended EVS legislation in the country. The government acted on the recommendation and we had the EVS Management and Handling Rule of 2012. We have all the right to ask whether companies are acting on the rule. We have asked this to four Indian and 18 global companies," Pratap said.

Why mention palm oil movement? 

Greenpeace Communications Director Bharathi Sinha told The News Minute that the Greenpeace found it strange that the IB has mentioned the palm oil movement. "The movement was started by Greenpeace Indonesia against the destruction of palm oil forests. We had only helped the campaign," Sinha says.

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