US Ambassador Richard Verma warns India over Crackdown on NGOs

New Delhi: A clampdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government could have “chilling effects” on foreign-funded charities and activists and is a cause for concern, the US ambassador to India Richard Verma said. Since taking office almost a year ago, Modi’s government has frozen the accounts of Greenpeace; limited the travel of some activists; and has put the US-based Ford Foundation on a security watch list.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace India from its headquarters in Bengaluru, is preparing for an imminent shutdown in a month’s time as a result of the Central government’s decision to block its domestic accounts. Majority of the NGO’s funding comes from 77,000 domestic donors. The government’s decision to bar Priya Pillai, a Greenpeace campaigner, from travelling abroad and issuing a look-out circular for her was quashed by the Delhi High Court. She spoke with nnis.