Ranchi: The Jharkhand Bishops’ Council has called on state Governor Droupadi Murmu to complain about Christian NGOs being targeted in the eastern Indian state.
The delegation led by Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo presented the governor a memorandum that pointed out the police’s Criminal Investigation Department subjected Christian NGOs to violent attacks and false accusations.
The bishop pointed out that all Christian NGOs were registered under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) and have submitted audit reports to the federal home ministry and file income tax returns regularly, details of which were available on government websites.
“It is surprising that the state CID has launched such an investigation even after the Centre (federal government) has verified all the accounts and renewed permission. The funds received in the FCRA accounts are utilized only for those purposes mentioned in the Memorandum of Trust/Registered Society and are properly accounted for,” the memorandum noted.
Further, NGOs were autonomous bodies and hence a blanket investigation of all NGOs merely because they were Christians, was unjust, unfair, illegal and against natural justice.
“We would like to request your excellency to make it possible for us, a peace loving community, which is always in service of the people, the nation and the poor, to carry out our work without any harassment,” the memorandum said.
Later addressing the media, council secretary general Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas said by involving ATS (anti-terrorism squad), the state government was perhaps trying to prove that the functionaries of Christian outfits were terrorists.
“Christian organizations alone do not receive foreign aid under FCRA. Why other NGOs have been spared? We also support such inquiries against all NGOs getting government aids,” he added.
On the sale of infants at Nirmal Hriday, he said it was ridiculous that a nun charged with selling babies had been jailed while the ones who bought the babies were spared.