Greenpeace has its office in Singrauli’s Amelia village. The crackdown comes days after the district collector promised a free and fair gram sabha on community consent for Essar and Hindalco’s mine.
“This is a Naxalite-infested area and we had inputs that unauthorised communication gadgets were being used by the NGO. We are carrying out investigations,” said a police officer.
The NGO claims otherwise. “How can we expect an unbiased gram sabha after police snapped our communication lines,” asked Priya Pillai, senior campaigner with Greenpeace India and member of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (MSS).
“Like the recent ‘leaked’ IB report that attacked civil society groups like Greenpeace, the police raid shows that authorities are clamping down on perceived threats to corporates,” Pillai said.
Earlier, Essar itself had filed two lawsuits – in Mumbai and Waidhan, MP – asking courts to stop Greenpeace and local communities from speaking out against the mine project.
Police served a notice on the NGO on Monday, demanding explanation on mobile phone signal booster and solar panels they put up in Amelia village.