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Andhra Pradesh based Christian NGOs named in FCRA Bribery FIR of CBI

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New Delhi. CBI has filed an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act naming 37 persons and NGOs as accused. The FIR follows raids made last week on offices of NGOs, middlemen, hawala operators and public servants. They have been charged under Sections 120B, 419,420,468,471 of IPC and various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The case involves collusion between the accused in paying bribes to public servants for renewal of permission given to the NGOs for receiving contributions under the FCRA, 2010. In addition, bribes were paid for revocation of suspension of permission or for clearing complaints lodged against these NGOs.

Two persons representing Christian Evangelist NGOs from Andhra Pradesh have been named in the FIR. At Sl. No. 27, Alfred Mohanty @ Chotta Mohanty administrator of CLC (Christian Life Centre Ministries) 15-127 Srinagar, Gajuwaka, Vishakhapatnam. He was acting on behalf of AMG India International, Chilakaluripeta of which his uncle Arun Kumar Kanti Mohanty @ Bada Mohanty is the President.

At Sl. No. 28, Kathera Suresh Kumar, representative of NGO Harvest India, Vijayawada. The FCRA permission of Harvest India was recently revoked following complaints lodged against the NGO.

The FIR lodged by CBI reveals a network of corrupt officials, middlemen and hawala operators indulging in corrupt practices. The network had two sets of modus operandi. In the first case, NGOs who were facing allegations of violations of FCRA and other laws of the country contacted the officials through middlemen for clearing allegations against them and get their suspension revoked or complaints closed without any penal action. In the second case, money was demanded by officials for the renewal of permission granted to the NGOs to receive FCRA funds. Even though the NGOs did not have irregularities or complaints against them and renewals were done in a regular manner, the fact of renewal was suppressed and the NGOs were called up by officials to pay bribes failing which they will be denied renewal.

Legal Rights Protection Forum, Hyderabad had filed several complaints against the above-mentioned NGOs. In its complaints, the Forum had alleged that the NGOs had indulged in compulsory Christian religious education to children studying in educational institutions run by the NGOs. In addition, recipients of aid from these NGOs were forced to undergo compulsory Christian religious preaching and prayers before they could receive any aid.

AMG India International, Chilakaluripeta was accused of fabricating stories of thousands of children working in stone quarries having been rescued and rehabilitating them. The promotional videos of such children had caused enormous damage to the image of India in the eyes of the world. In addition, the AMG is also accused of forcing daily Christian prayers on children in their schools/ colleges. Even on Independence Day/ Republic Day, students were forced to hear Bible verses. Both NGOs are currently under investigation by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights for various abuses of child rights.

The details mentioned in the FIR reveal that NGOs who had collected money through FCRA from various donors abroad were ready to pay bribes to clear complaint against them. This is gross misuse of the donor money which has not used for noble causes as intended by them. This is a let-down of the donors from across the globe who had donated to these NGOs.

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