GoI likely to turn down permission to Amnesty’s South Asian hub

New Delhi: The government of India is unlikely to grant permission to Amnesty International, slapped with charge of sedition for hosting an event where anti-India slogans were allegedly raised, for opening a hub in India to look after its operations in South Asia.
The authorities have also decided to ask Amnesty India to get itself registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) after a preliminary enquiry found the organisation had “bypassed” laws while accepting foreign funds in the last 16 years.
The Amnesty International had in 2014 and 2015 issued statements to the media making it clear that it would not register under the FCRA, which it described as “much-abused”.
The Amnesty has registered a non-profit organisation in the name of Amnesty International South Asia Foundation on May 8, 2015.
Soon after, it sought the government’s permission to open a hub to look after its activities in South Asia, excluding India, and wanted to bring in foreign funds to the tune of Rs 18,61,92,688 under the prior permission category for its operations.
“The application (for setting up the hub) is under examination and in all likelihood we are going to deny the permission as we have found that the NGO has been getting foreign funds without registering under FCRA, thus bypassing laws,” a senior Home Ministry official said.
During preliminary inquiry, the official said, the Home Ministry found that the NGO received Great Britain Pound (GBP) 3,52,057 (Rs 3,09,35,248) and Rs 2,23,99,226 in four separate instalments since 2000 without having registered under the FCRA.
Amnesty has been under scanner after a Kashmir-centric event organised by it at Bengaluru allegedly had the participants allegedly raising pro-freedom slogans.
The government of India responded by booking Amnesty under various IPC sections including sedition.
Amnesty, on its part, has rejected as “without substance” the allegations made by ABVP, the students wing of RSS. But it has reputedly closed down its India office and asked its staffers to work from home

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