greenpeace india
School children, brought together by Greenpeace for a climate change demonstration, carry placards near the venue where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to meet India's foreign minister in New Delhi July 20, 2009. [Representational Image]Reuters

The Greenpeace foundation that has been fighting for a cleaner environment may shut down in a month as the Indian government froze its domestic accounts last month leaving it with very little funds.

The foundation is now left with funds enough to operate just for a month, after which at least 340 of their staff members in India will be left jobless.

"The question here is why are 340 people facing the loss of their jobs? Is it because we talked about pesticide-free tea, air pollution, and a cleaner, fairer future for all Indians?" Reuters quoted Greenpeace India's executive director Samit Aich as saying in a statement.

By freezing all the accounts in India, they are strangling the foundation and its work "to ensure that Indians like you have access to clean energy, food, air and water for more than 15 years," the foundation's website said.

"The home minister is trying to strangle us by stealth, because he knows an outright ban is unconstitutional. We ask him to confirm that he is trying to close Greenpeace India and suppress our voice," Aich added. 

The Ministry of Home Affairs blocked all the domestic accounts of the foundation on 9 April "due to absurd technicalities, which we are challenging in the court".

While blocking all the India accounts of Greenpeace, the government said that the foundation has violated tax laws and there were irregularities in the funding.

The website says that "over 68 percent of our funds come from more than 77,000 Indians. These funds have been frozen and our work to protect India's environment and people is being forced to stop".

The government has, however, made no comments on the matter so far. 

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