By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, January 20, 2024: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a First Information Report (FIR) against the NGO Environics Trust (ET) and its top officials for allegedly violating the provisions of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010.

As per the FIR, ET allegedly transferred money for disaster relief to address the aftermath of Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan in Odisha to allegedly agitate the protests against the JSW Steel project site in the state.

“ET has funded the agitators and involved in the various activities creating law and order issue in the country. These activities were not as per the object of trust and the same is contrary to the provisions of FCRA Act 2010,” the CBI stated.

CBI has also alleged that ET is connected with the an Adivasi activist, Deme Oram who was arrested by police in Odisha for “rioting” and “unlawful assembly.” The Adivasi people are a collective of several tribal groups indigenous to India.

JSW Steel, which is a subsidiary of JSW Utkal Steel, is planning to construct a 13.2 million tonne per annum greenfield Integrated Steel Plant (ISP) which has faced continuous protest from the locals of the region. The company received the required environmental clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment & Forest and Climate Change on April 15, 2022. Many NGO’s have protested against the construction of the plant citing environmental and community hazards.

The FCRA was also cited in 2022 by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) when it accused Amnesty International of money laundering in order to circumvent the FCRA.

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