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Politics India

IT raids on at offices of Oxfam, CPR, IPSMF?

Simultaneous raids in five states over funding of non-registered political parties

Sabrangindia 07 Sep 2022

Oxfam
Image Courtesy: jagran.com

The Income Tax Department is reportedly conducting raids at the offices of independent think tank Center for Policy Research (CPR), international NGO Oxfam, and Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF).

The Quint reports that the raids are being conducted simultaneously in five states – Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The raids come in wake of a recommendation from the Election Commission to probe allegations of tax evasion against Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPP) and their allegedly dubious financial transactions. The EC had recently struck down names of 198 RUPPs when they were found to be non-existent during physical verification. The entities raided today are allegedly associated with such RUPPs and have aided in their funding.

According to NDTV, the raid began at the CPR office in Delhi at noon, when ten officers of the IT Department landed up demanding to inspect accounts. CPR, established in 1973, was previously headed by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a known critic of the present regime. Meenakshi Gopinath, a former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) professor and former principal of Lady Shri Ram college, is its current chairperson. While Yamini Aiyar is its president and chief executive, board members include former foreign secretary Shyam Saran and IIM professor Rama Bijapurkar.

According to CPR’s website (https://cprindia.org/funding-support/), it is “recognised as a not-for-profit society by the Government of India, and contributions to the Centre are tax exempt.” The website further says, “CPR receives grants from the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), and is a Department of Science and Technology (DST) recognised institution. CPR receives grants from a variety of domestic and international sources, including foundations, corporate philanthropy, governments, and multilateral agencies.”

Meanwhile, The Quint reports that raids are also on at offices of Oxfam India. Oxfam is an international organization, that according to its website  (https://www.oxfamindia.org/about-us) is “a movement of people working to end discrimination and create a free and just society.” Its India chapter engages in research and advocacy, and works to “ensure that Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims, and women and girls have safe-violence free lives with freedom to speak their mind, equal opportunities to realize their rights, and a discrimination free future.”

The third entity to be raided is Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF), which once funded the independent news portal The Wire, which has often been targeted by the regime for openly criticizing its policies.

Readers would recall that raids had been conducted at the offices of Amnesty India to probe allegations of illegal foreign funding. In 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had conducted searches 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 had also frozen over a dozen bank accounts of environmental NGO Greenpeace and its linked entity after it conducted searches at premises of Amnesty International in Bengaluru on charges of alleged forex violations after taking cognisance of the FCRA action against it. Then in November 2019, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids at the Bengaluru head office of Amnesty International India in connection with accusations that the non-profit had received foreign funds. The government had earlier declined permission to the Amnesty International India Foundation Trust that had been critical of security agencies in several cases including the arrest of activists such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Rona Wilson and Varavara Rao, who was accused of being a Maoist ideologue, for receiving foreign funds.  

Related:

Amnesty International targeted once again, this time by CBI
Amnesty, Greenpeace accuse Indian government of impeding work
"Rights Groups Being Treated Like Criminal Enterprises": Amnesty On Raids

IT raids on at offices of Oxfam, CPR, IPSMF?

Simultaneous raids in five states over funding of non-registered political parties

Oxfam
Image Courtesy: jagran.com

The Income Tax Department is reportedly conducting raids at the offices of independent think tank Center for Policy Research (CPR), international NGO Oxfam, and Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF).

The Quint reports that the raids are being conducted simultaneously in five states – Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The raids come in wake of a recommendation from the Election Commission to probe allegations of tax evasion against Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPP) and their allegedly dubious financial transactions. The EC had recently struck down names of 198 RUPPs when they were found to be non-existent during physical verification. The entities raided today are allegedly associated with such RUPPs and have aided in their funding.

According to NDTV, the raid began at the CPR office in Delhi at noon, when ten officers of the IT Department landed up demanding to inspect accounts. CPR, established in 1973, was previously headed by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a known critic of the present regime. Meenakshi Gopinath, a former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) professor and former principal of Lady Shri Ram college, is its current chairperson. While Yamini Aiyar is its president and chief executive, board members include former foreign secretary Shyam Saran and IIM professor Rama Bijapurkar.

According to CPR’s website (https://cprindia.org/funding-support/), it is “recognised as a not-for-profit society by the Government of India, and contributions to the Centre are tax exempt.” The website further says, “CPR receives grants from the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), and is a Department of Science and Technology (DST) recognised institution. CPR receives grants from a variety of domestic and international sources, including foundations, corporate philanthropy, governments, and multilateral agencies.”

Meanwhile, The Quint reports that raids are also on at offices of Oxfam India. Oxfam is an international organization, that according to its website  (https://www.oxfamindia.org/about-us) is “a movement of people working to end discrimination and create a free and just society.” Its India chapter engages in research and advocacy, and works to “ensure that Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims, and women and girls have safe-violence free lives with freedom to speak their mind, equal opportunities to realize their rights, and a discrimination free future.”

The third entity to be raided is Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF), which once funded the independent news portal The Wire, which has often been targeted by the regime for openly criticizing its policies.

Readers would recall that raids had been conducted at the offices of Amnesty India to probe allegations of illegal foreign funding. In 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had conducted searches 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 had also frozen over a dozen bank accounts of environmental NGO Greenpeace and its linked entity after it conducted searches at premises of Amnesty International in Bengaluru on charges of alleged forex violations after taking cognisance of the FCRA action against it. Then in November 2019, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids at the Bengaluru head office of Amnesty International India in connection with accusations that the non-profit had received foreign funds. The government had earlier declined permission to the Amnesty International India Foundation Trust that had been critical of security agencies in several cases including the arrest of activists such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Rona Wilson and Varavara Rao, who was accused of being a Maoist ideologue, for receiving foreign funds.  

Related:

Amnesty International targeted once again, this time by CBI
Amnesty, Greenpeace accuse Indian government of impeding work
"Rights Groups Being Treated Like Criminal Enterprises": Amnesty On Raids

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