Christian body alleges ‘selective” FCRA probe

By Cyprian Ekka

Ranchi, May 24, 2019: A Church delegation on May 24 complained to Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu that the state administration has indulged in “selective” probe into overseas funds received by Christian institutions.

Scrutinizing only the Christian institutions “betrays the government’s discriminatory stance” and violates the Indian Constitution, says a memorandum the 4-member delegation from the “All Christians Media Cell” submitted to the governor in her office.

The team led by Auxiliary Bishop Telesphore Bilung of Ranchi pointed out that problem for Christian institutions began with the July 13, 2018, directive from the federal Home Ministry to the Jharkhand chief secretary.

The secretary then asked the state’s Criminal Investigation Department to enquire into the “alleged misuse of foreign funds” for religious conversion by 88 Christian institutions registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act or FCRA.

The FCRA registration is mandatory to receive and use funds from overseas.

Jharkhand’s Additional Director General of Police of the CID then instructed the police superintendents of the state’s 18 districts to investigate the Christian institutions.

The memorandum says the Christian institutions received similar notices sent by the Terrorism Control Squad.

Although Jharkhand has 518 FCRA institutions, only those managed by Christians face the probe, the Christian delegation’s memorandum pointed out.

It also noted that the Christian institutions “fully complied with the inquiry,” but the allegation could not be officially proved.

The respective Police Superintendents in August 2018 issued notices of inquiry to the above indicated Christian institutions. Significantly, even as

The delegation urged the governor to either investigate all FCRA registered intuitions in Jharkhand or “summarily dismiss” the order to probe the Christian institutions and ensure the constitutional obligation of impartiality and equality to all citizens.

The delegation later said the governor was “quite cordial” and promised to favorably look into the grievance stated in the memorandum.

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1 thought on “Christian body alleges ‘selective” FCRA probe

  1. When will we stop depending on foreign funds for routine welfare activities or building more and more institutions? We should solicit foreign funds only in national calamities like floods or earthquakes.

    When I stood for National President of the All India Catholic Union in 1990 I had stated in my election manifesto that I would not seek foreign funds and stood by it; traveling across the country in sleeper class trains.

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