New Delhi: Hours after Amnesty International claimed that it is being subjected to an incessant witch-hunt over unfounded and motivated allegations, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday said that the stand taken and statements made by Amnesty International are unfortunate, exaggerated and far from truth.Also Read - No Nationwide Lockdown: Centre Asks States to Implement Containment Measures Till May 31

“The stand taken and statements made by Amnesty International are unfortunate, exaggerated and far from truth,” the MHA said in a statement. Also Read - Coronavirus in India: China Offers Support to India in Fighting Pandemic | Highlights

The MHA said that the Amnesty is free to continue humanitarian work in India. “However, India doesn’t allow interference in domestic political debates by entities funded by foreign donations. This law applies equally to all and it shall apply to Amnesty International as well,” the MHA said. Also Read - Staggered Timing, 50% Attendance At Work: Home Ministry Issues Fresh Guidelines For Its Officers  

The MHA said that the Amnesty International had received permission under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) only once and that too 20 years ago (19.12.2000).

“Since then Amnesty International has been denied FCRA approval by successive governments since it’s not eligible to get such approval. In order to circumvent FCRA regulations, Amnesty UK remitted large amounts of money to 4 entities registered in India, by classifying it as FDI,” the MHA said.

It also said that owing to these illegal practices of Amnesty, previous governments had also rejected repeated applications of Amnesty to receive funds from overseas. This had led Amnesty to suspend its India operations once during that period as well, the MHA added.

The Union Home Ministry said 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 home ministry said in a detailed statement.

The home ministry said this bipartisan and purely legal approach towards Amnesty, under different governments, makes it clear that the entire fault lies in the dubious processes adopted by Amnesty to secure funds for its operations.

Amnesty International on Tuesday said it is halting all its activities in India due to freezing of its accounts and claimed that it is being subjected to an “incessant witch-hunt” over unfounded and motivated allegations.

(With inputs from agencies)