The Enforcement Directorate (ED), a government body responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime, on October 25, 2018 conducted searches at the two locations of Amnesty International India in Bangalore.
It is to be noted that in 2010, Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) was denied the permission to receive foreign funds under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). To overcome this hindrance, AIIFT allegedly bypassed the restrictions put on it by the government under Section 9 of FCRA by floating a commercial entity in the name of Amnesty international India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL). Amnesty has received foreign funds through commercial route to the extent of Rs 36 crore till date.
- There have been criticisms of misusing FCRA to target organisations that were not succumbing to the power of the State. Further, thousands of NGOs have lost their license for alleged violations of FCRA, thus debilitating them.
- Amnesty International, through its official channels, commented that ED raid on Amnesty India shows a disturbing pattern of the government silencing organisations that question power. Connecting the dot backward, Amnesty International India had sought an independent and impartial investigation into the deaths of seven civilians in Kulgam during a gunfight between Indian security forces and suspected militants on October 21, 2018.