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30 Jan 2019

Tushar Dhara, The Caravan (India)

Modi's crackdown on NGOs, activists and civil society groups threaten Greenpeace India operations

"Greenpeace India may be forced to halve staff, operations amid government crackdown", 23 January 2019

Greenpeace India, the environmental non-governmental organisation, will scale back its operations and staff in the country by nearly 50 percent in the near future... The action against Greenpeace India is part of a wider crackdown on NGOs, activists and civil-society groups that are perceived to be critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government’s development policies. Amnesty International’s Indian subsidiary has also been targeted along similar lines... In June 2014, a few weeks after the Modi government came to power, the Intelligence Bureau submitted a report to the Prime Minister’s Office titled, “Impact of NGOs on Development.” The report claimed that foreign-funded NGOs protesting coal and mining projects in the country were stalling India’s development and had negatively impacted GDP growth by two to three percentage points. The report called Greenpeace a “threat to national economic security.” Greenpeace has campaigned on issues related to climate change, land rights and the environmental impact of coal mining and burning... Greenpeace Australia has also campaigned against a multi-billion dollar coal mining project in Queensland, proposed by the Adani Group. In its campaign, the NGO described the project as a major threat to the environment. The conglomerate is headed by Gautam Adani, an Indian businessman known to be close to Modi...