New Delhi: The Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies has cancelled the registration of Greenpeace India, the environmental NGO that has been campaigning against air pollution and the unsustainable use of natural resources in India.
Greenpeace India, registered as an NGO in India under the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies (RoS), got the order of cancellation of its registration on Friday, although the order was formally issued on Wednesday.
“While several international leaders, including the United Nations Secretary General have recently upheld the importance of civil society in healthy democracies, this (cancellation) notice is the latest assault on free speech in India”, the NGO said in a statement.
Sources said that Greenpeace India will challenge this order in the Madras high court as early as possible.
“The RoS is clearly acting under directions from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in Delhi, which has been trying to shut Greenpeace India down for over a year now,” said Vinuta Gopal, Interim Executive Director of the NGO. “The MHA’s clumsy tactics to suppress free speech and dissenting voices are turning into a major national and international embarrassment for this government. This is an extension of the deep intolerance for differing viewpoints that sections of this government seem to harbor,” she added.
Gopal said the RoS passed this order without granting Greenpeace a hearing and without complying with the Madras high court order to address each of the NGO’s points and queries. “This is a blatant attempt to circumvent the legal process and shows no respect for the law. We are confident that we are on strong legal ground. We have faith in the legal process and are confident of overcoming this order,”Gopal said.
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