A number of prominent citizens and activists today rubbished an Intelligence Bureau report which had said funding of several NGOs was "cleverly disguised" as donations for issues like human rights, but instead they were involved in stalling developmental projects.
Former Navy Chief Admiral L Ramdas, former Director General of Tripura Police K S Subramanian, senior columnist Praful Bidwai, anti-nuclear activist S P Udayakumar and number of other activists debunked the IB report, terming it "baseless" and aimed at "discrediting popular protests".
Ramdas, a Magsaysay award winner, said the IB report was leaked to "demean the individuals" while Subramanian, doubting the content, said the report should be placed before Parliament and there should be a debate on it. The IB report to the Prime Minister's Office had said funds to certain NGOs were mostly used to fuel protests against developmental projects relating to coal, bauxite mining, oil exploration, nuclear plants and linking of rivers, resulting in stalling or slowing down of these projects.
The report named two anti-nuclear organisations--National Alliance of Anti Nuclear Movements (NAAM) and People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)-- spearheaded by US-educated S P
Udayakumar who allegedly received "unsolicited contract" from a US university. Udayakumar termed the report as "non-sensible and baseless" and said that by leaking this report, "they have undermined my security and that of my family". He also refuted that Sonntag Rainer Hermann, a German national who was deported from Chennai in 2012, was his contact as reported by the IB. Udaykumar said Hermann is not his "contact in Germany" and rather was an acquaintance from Nagercoil, his hometown in Tamil Nadu. "Knowing somebody does not make him my sponsor. This is an effort to discourage popular protests from opposing dangerous projects," the activist said.
On the IB report mentioning that Hermann's laptop contained scanned map of India with 16 nuclear plants (existing and proposed), Udaykumar said he did not receive any information, maps or monetary helps from Hermann. Senior columnist Praful Bidwai said that the report was a "cock-and-bull story" based on "false baseless allegations, most of them untrue and innuendos which try to establish guilt by mere associations." "CNDP (Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace), of which Achina Vanaik and I are founder members, takes no money at all from foreign sources, corporate sources, government sources and is entirely funded by our own individual contributions," he said.