15 Arunachal NGOs face scrutiny

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju. File
Vijaita Singh
NEW DELHI 01 APRIL 2018 22:34 IST
UPDATED: 01 APRIL 2018 22:34 IST

Four of them were involved in religious conversions, say Intelligence reports

The books of at least 15 Christian NGOs from Arunachal Pradesh were probed by the Home Ministry in the past three months under the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

A senior government official said the NGOs were checked after Intelligence reports that they were involved in religious conversions.

FCRA enables NGOs and associations to get foreign funds that are monitored by the Home Ministry.

On March 20, Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home informed the Lok Sabha that “audit and inspection” had been completed against 21 NGOs. Of these 15 were from Arunachal Pradesh, one from Kerala and five from Delhi. Mr. Rijiju represents Arunachal Pradesh in the Lok Sabha.

The official said that of the 21 NGOs inspected, they had zeroed in on four from Arunachal Pradesh — Catholic Church Welfare Society, Diocese of Itanagar, Subansiri Kristu Kiran Society and Diocese of Miao for further scrutiny.

Dr. John Thomas, the Bishop of Itanagar said he was associated with the three NGOs — Catholic Church Welfare Society, Diocese of Itanagar, and Subansiri Kristu Kiran Society — and Home Ministry officials had come in February to inspect the accounts.

“They (Home Ministry) did not tell us that there were allegations of religious conversion against the NGOs. They have not accused us of anything, they wanted to inspect the FCRA accounts and we cooperated. They came on February 8,” the Bishop said.

In February 2017, Mr. Rijiju said the Hindu population was coming down as “Hindus never convert people” and “minorities in India were flourishing unlike some other countries around.”

Slams Congress


He posted the message on Twitter while reacting to a news item where the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) alleged that the Narendra Modi-led BJP government was trying to convert Arunachal Pradesh into a “Hindu State.”

He also said, “The Congress should not make such provocative statements. India is a secular country. All religious groups enjoy freedom and are living peacefully.”

When contacted on Sunday, Mr. Rijiju refused to comment on the inspection by the Home Ministry against the Arunachal-based NGOs.

He had told Parliament that standard questionnaires were served on 21 NGOs including Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, Delhi, Asianet New Charitable Trust, Kerala, and Amnesty International (India) Foundation.

The Centre for Internet and Society, a Bengaluru-based NGO which had reportedly flagged breach of Aadhaar data last year was also sent a notice by the Home Ministry.

A senior official said FCRA registrations of close to 5,000 NGOs were cancelled from April 1, 2017.

source : Hindu

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