The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today had arrived at People’s Watch (PW) in Madurai at around 10:50 AM with a search warrant following the CBI Court, Madurai an FIR on January 7th, 2022.
The FIR pertains to allegations against PW which had led to three consecutive FCRA suspensions of 180 days each between 2012-14. Following the interventions in the Delhi High Court the FCRA was restored in 2014. CPSC received fund in 2015 and 2016.
However, the FCRA was not renewed on October 29, 2016, when the first round of renewals were granted. The ministry cited ‘field agency reports’ for non-renewal but when challenged in the Delhi High Court, it had cited PW’s engagements with the UN human rights mechanisms and portraying India in bad light.
Interestingly, this CBI FIR coincides with Henri’s participation on a panel organized by the Aljazeera for a debate titled - “Is India targeting foreign-funded NGOs?”. Henri through his inputs had shared PW’s experience of FCRA related crackdowns being used another tool to suppress dissent in India.