India Kicks Greenpeace Out Of The Country For ‘Fraudulent’ Operations

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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In a twist of irony, Greenpeace has been kicked out of the very country it’s trying to “save” from global warming.

India’s government has cancelled Greenpeace’s nonprofit registration after national security officials deemed the activist group a “threat to economic security” and took actions to limit the group’s ability to function.

The Tamil Nadu provincial government issued a notice Wednesday cancelling Greenpeace India Society’s registration for “‘fraudulently’ conducting their business by falsifying balance sheets, and other violations of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act of 1975,” reports

For over a year, Indian officials have been cracking down on Greenpeace for protesting coal plants and mines the country is trying to use to bring electricity to the rural poor. Greenpeace has been working in the country for years, trying to get them to adopt solar energy to power the countryside.

Greenpeace even installed a solar microgrid in the village of Dharnai in the hopes of getting residents pumped up about green energy — it resulted in a mass protest with villagers chanting, “We want real electricity, not fake electricity!”

The month before Greenpeace set up its solar grid in Dharnai, India’s Intelligence Bureau came out with a report labeling the environmental group Greenpeace as “a threat to national economic security.”

“It is assessed to be posing a potential threat to national economic security… growing exponentially in terms of reach, impact, volunteers and media influence,” the IB warned of Greenpeace activities, adding the group is finding “ways to create obstacles in India’s energy plans” and to “pressure India to use only renewable energy.”

Indian officials also said Greenpeace funded research groups to provide scholarly backing for its green agenda.

“To encourage Indian-ness of its anti-coal approach, Greenpeace has financed Tata Institute of Social Sciences to study health, pollution and other aspects at Mahan and plans to use this case to ban all coal blocks,” officials noted.

Since the report came out, Indian officials have frozen Greenpeace’s bank accounts, prevented members from leaving the country and blocked the group from receiving funding from foreign nonprofits. Greenpeace is obviously angry with India’s government.

Vinuta Gopal, the group’s interim executive director, said India “has been trying to shut Greenpeace India down for over a year now.”

“This is an extension of the deep intolerance for differing viewpoints that sections of this government seem to harbor,” Gopal said in a statement. “This is a blatant attempt to circumvent the legal process and shows no respect for the law.”

Greenpeace’s environmental agenda has run up against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of bringing electricity to the country’s 300 million citizens who lacked reliable access. Coal, which is abundant in India, is the most cost-effective way to bring power to those stuck in energy poverty, though Modi has also pushed for solar as a temporary solution.

“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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