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ED raids Amnesty International’s office, NGO calls it assault on civil society

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ED raids Amnesty International’s office, NGO calls it assault on civil society

Raided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) yesterday on charges of violating FCRA, human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) on Friday, October 26, questioned the grounds claiming its structure is compliant with Indian laws.

It said the Enforcement Directorate has frozen its bank accounts and that it has become “the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society”.

It said that Enforcement Directorate officials had searched its Bengaluru office for 10 hours on Thursday, finishing only at midnight.

“Government authorities are increasingly treating human rights organisations like criminal enterprises,” said Amnesty India Executive Director Aakar Patel in a statement. “As an organisation committed to the rule of law, our operations in India have always conformed with our national regulations. The principles of transparency and accountability are at the heart of our work.”

The statement said the Enforcement Directorate’s questioning focussed on the relationship between Amnesty International India Private Ltd and Amnesty International India Foundation. The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that Amnesty India bypassed the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act to float a commercial entity – Amnesty International India Private Ltd.

The AI statement said most of the documents asked for during the search were available in the public domain or were already filed with the relevant authorities. It said details of the organisation’s current structure, which was also the focus of the questioning, has been available on its website since 2014.

Asserting that its structure is compliant with Indian laws, the AI said the ED raid shows “a disturbing pattern of government silencing organisations that question power.” The human rights watchdog alleged that the government is instilling fear among civil society organisations by conducting such raids.

On Thursday, ED conducted searches at two locations of the human rights watchdog in connection with a foreign exchange law contravention case. The searches were in connection with alleged violation of foreign direct investment norms linked to a previous case of revocation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of the NGO by the Union Home Ministry in 2010.

The ED, in a statement, had said, “After Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) was denied the permission/registration under FCRA by the MHA (ministry of home affairs) they resorted to bypass the FCRA by floating commercial entity in the name of Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL).

“This entity has received foreign funds through commercial route to the extent of Rs 36 crore till date,” it had said. Of the total amount of Rs 36 crore, it said, Rs 10 crore was received as long-term loans.

“This amount was immediately placed in FDs (fixed deposits) and another Indian entity Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT) had established an overdraft facility for Rs 14.25 crore keeping the said Rs 10 crore FD as collateral which means the receipt of FDI by trust only.

“The remaining Rs 26 crore was received in two other bank accounts of AIIPL as consultancy services. The inwards remittances received by the AIIPL from overseas is in violation of FDI guidelines,” it had said.

In this background, searches were conducted at Bengaluru office of the NGO and further probe is in progress, it had said. The agency, sometime back, had frozen over a dozen bank accounts of environmental NGO Greenpeace and its linked entity after it conducted searches at their premises in Bengaluru on charges of alleged forex violations after taking cognisance of the FCRA action against it.

India News

VIRAL: Elephant Jeymalyatha brutally beaten up by mahouts in Tamil Nadu, Peta India demands action

Reports said the elephant was tortured by mahouts at the Sribilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

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Elephant Jeymalyatha

In an animal-cruelty incident, an elephant named Jeymalyatha was brutally beaten up by mahouts in Tamil Nadu. The video of the incident is viral and has triggered massive outrage on social media.

Reports said the elephant was tortured by mahouts at the Sribilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

PETA India shared the video on Twitter and demanded stringent action against the mahouts. In the video, Jeymalyatha could be seen crying in pain as the mahouts continuously kept thrashing her with sticks. PETA India has sent an urgent appeal to the chief wildlife wardens of Assam and Tamil Nadu and demanded the enforcement of the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972, by filling a preliminary offence report under Section 51 against mahouts involved and under Section 48 against the Srivilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

The organisation also demanded to seize the abused elephant and rehabilitate her at a sanctuary.

Watch the viral video here:

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India News

Tickets? UP Police constables beat up TT on Gorakhdham Express in Kanpur | WATCH

The constables hit him on the head due to which his shirt was soaked in blood.

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UP Police constables beat up TT in Gorakhdham Express

In a shocking incident, the railway head TT was beaten up by two Uttar Pradesh police constables at Kanpur Central Railway Station. According to the reports, the constables were travelling without a ticket on a train from Gorakhpur to Bhatinda, and when the TT asked them to get off the train, they thrashed him fiercely. The incident took place at around 11:30 pm on the Gorakhdham Express on Tuesday.

TT Rambaran, who was on duty, took the train from Lucknow. On Twitter, Aditya Tiwari shared the video of TT narrating the whole incident. He said when he asked for the ticket, the constables said they would get down at Kanpur. After that, when he asked them to step down from the train at the Kanpur station, police constables beat him brutally.

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TT Rambaran also said the constables even tried to throw him off the train, but the passengers who were there on the train helped him save his life. The constables hit him on the head due to which his shirt was soaked in blood.

The victim lodged a complaint against the constables in GRP Kanpur. GRP inspector R.B. Dwivedi said they reached the spot as soon as they received information about the incident. He further said the FIR has been registered and the investigation is underway.

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Delhi news

No CNG sale in Delhi today, Dealers Association calls for protest; here’s why

The reason for the closure of CNG pumps is the non-reimbursement of the electricity bills by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL).

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CNG sale in Delhi

The Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA) has announced that there will be no CNG sale in Delhi on August 10 from 6 am to 10 pm. The reason for the closure of CNG pumps is the non-reimbursement of the electricity bills by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL).

Delhi Association called for the protest as the reimbursement of the electricity bill of CNG pumps is not being done by IGL and is long overdue which has been causing them huge losses every day. The protest will affect about 250 CNG pumps in the capital.

In a letter last month, DPDA President Anurag Jain wrote, We have decided to go for no CNG sale on August 10 from 6 am to 10 pm as a mark of protest. He further said the DPDA is forced to take this step due to the reluctance shown by IGL to pay the actual electricity reimbursement of CNG facilities to the dealers of Delhi who are incurring huge financial losses every month.

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In Delhi, the electricity bill of the petrol pumps is paid by IGL, and CNG consumes a lot of electricity. DPDA says that IGL has not been paying the electricity bill for a long time, due to which they are suffering huge losses. And this is the reason the association has announced it will close CNG pumps today.

DPDA said there was a meeting organized with IGL in March 2022 to solve the issue, and IGL even agreed on the reimbursement of the electricity bill. After this meeting, the dealers were assured that the issue would be resolved in a month. DPDA said the issue has not been resolved yet and IGL didn’t fulfill its promise.

The non-fulfillment of DPDA’s demands has led them to take the step of closure of CNG pumps in Delhi on August 10. CNG is currently being sold at Rs 75.61 per kg in Delhi.

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