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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties worth ₹17.66 crores of the global human rights advocacy group, Amnesty International, which stopped its India operations last year because of an alleged "witch-hunt" by the government.
The central agency has taken the action as part of a money-laundering probe against the organisation, NDTV reported.
In a statement, the ED said a provisional order had been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) "attaching bank accounts of Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL) and Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT). Both the entities have acquired the proceeds of crime and layered the same in the form of various movable properties."
The total attachments in the case stand at ₹19.54 crore.
The government, however, says that the global rights watchdog had been receiving foreign funds illegally and was not registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
The centre has raided Amnesty India's premises multiple times in the last few years.
In a press statement, Amnesty had said: "The complete freezing of Amnesty International India's bank accounts by the government of India, which it came to know on 10 September, brings all the work being done by the organization to a grinding halt."
The organisation had said it was forced to let go of staff in India and halt all its ongoing campaign and work. On September 29 last year, Amnesty International announced that it was letting go of nearly 150 members in Bengaluru and Delhi following the freezing of its bank accounts by the ED.
"This is the latest in the incessant witch-hunt of human rights organizations by the government of India over unfounded and motivated allegations," it had said in the statement.
The government, however, had said that human rights cannot be an excuse to violate the law of the land.
"All the glossy statements about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power are nothing but a ploy to divert attention from their activities which were in clear contravention of laid down Indian laws. Such statements are also an attempt to extraneously influence the course of investigations by multiple agencies into the irregularities and illegalities carried out over the last few years," the government had said.
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