The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Jharkhand NGOs under scanner over funding naxals

by Nityanand Shukla/ Ranchi
Publication: The Pioneer, June 19, 2003

The Function of some Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), alleged to be funding banned Maoist groups in the State, is being probed by the state intelligence department.

"A preliminary inquiry has revealed that some of the NGOs are funding the banned Maoist Groups in Jharkhand," said an intelligence official on the condition of anonymity. He further said, "Our investigation is based on two theories. First, there are few NGOs who are working as conduit to the funding to extremists. These funds are channelled from South East Asian countries as well as from inside the country to Jharkhand where it is used for procuring arms and other things for extremist groups. "In the name of upliftment of poverty-ridden tribals, the foreign agencies pump money which are diverted to promote extremism in the State. In some cases the Maoist groups from other parts of the country and foreign countries channel their funds through theses NGOs. And the Government allows these funds as it is taken in the name of development," the intelligence official revealed.

Second, there are NGOs who are funding extremist groups to do their work comfortably in rural areas. The state intelligence department is also trying to find if any extremist group has registered any NGO for its purpose. "There are possibilities that extremist groups might have registered some NGOs and are using them for their own purpose," said another senior police official of intelligence department. Despite the State Government's action against the Naxalites their activities are being carried out uninterrupted in the State.

According to police, extremists are still holding people's court in rural areas, calling shots and taking cuts.

The police officials privately admit that the extremists are in possession of sophisticated weapons, bullet proofs jackets and devices used to track the movement of police. The state intelligence department is also investigating the role of Christian missionaries in funding the extremist groups.

"No church, priests or nuns have been attacked despite the fact that they are working in extremist infested areas. The role of Christian missionaries is under scanner too. "Missionaries have their own interest. They might be funding the extremists to create unrest in the rural areas so as to prevent the Government agencies from reaching there which will help them in conversion and other things," said a top police officials. According to an police estimate, the extremists are earning about Rs 3 billion per annum from levy from big business houses, smuggling and taking cuts from development funds.

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