Andhra NGO accused of ‘evangelist acts’ loses foreign funding licence - The Daily Guardian
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Andhra NGO accused of ‘evangelist acts’ loses foreign funding licence

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has suspended the foreign funding licence of an Andhra Pradesh-based Christian missionary NGO “Harvest India” for violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) 2010.

The organisation is run by bishop Suresh Kumar Kathera who is accused of “fraudulently misrepresenting” himself as Christian Bishop and running an “evangelical” NGO ‘Harvest India’ as well as collecting millions from citizens of the US, the UK, and other countries. The organization was in news last year after Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) lodged complaints with FCRA division of MHA in April 2020 accusing its activities of violation of FCRA rules and released videos of its chief functionary Suresh Kumar indulging in proselytization activities.

LRPF has also claimed to have filed a fresh complaint with the MHA’s FCRA division in September this year, in which it explained anti-India activities of Harvest India and bishop Suresh Kathera.

In its letter, LRPF sought action against Harvest India accusing it of collecting foreign funds through fraudulent misrepresentation and accused that Harvest India’s foreign contributions between 2017-18 and 2019-20 had totalled around Rs 19.6 crore which were allegedly being used for missionary activities.

Reportedly, Harvest India has more than 1,500 “community centres” functioning across the country for proselytizing purposes. In addition to this, there are over 1,500 to 2,000 pastors working for the organization engaged in conversion activities. The NGO also conducts “Crusade” events to induct new members to Christianity and train them as preachers. Kumar with his wife runs a Church named King’s Temple and several Bible colleges.

In its complaint, the LRPF had raised queries over the organization utilizing funds for paying salaries to pastors and church maintenance. Reports suggest that several members of the organization had also violated the Indian visa rules and visited India to participate in proselytizing activities.

Suresh Kumar has also been accused of misusing the benefits meant for Scheduled Castes. Early this month, LRPF and the SC-ST Rights Forum had written to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes seeking action against Kumar for holding a Scheduled Caste certificate to avail reservation benefits despite being a Christian Bishop.

Suresh Kumar in an anti-Hindu speech delivered at Mission Conference 2018 held at Biola University in the US, was heard saying, “Right now, we are under Hindu rule. Our Prime Minister is a bad guy. He doesn’t want any Christians in India. He wants to make India a Hindu country. So many pastors killed in the last five years. Many missionaries were sent back.”

However, Harvest India’s FCRA returns for the past years show that its foreign donations were utilised for running orphanages, old-age homes and daycare, leprosy missions, medical aid and digging borewells.

Earlier this month, the MHA had suspended the licences of seven other NGOs with the majority of them linked to evangelist and forced conversion activities. Prior to this, the FCRA licences of Holy Spirit Ministries, Markazul Ighasathil Kairiyathil Hindiyya, Russ Foundation, Heavenly Grace Ministeries, People’s Organisation of Empowerment of Tribals, Al Hasan Educational and Welfare Foundation, and Mewat Trust For Educational Welfare were suspended by the MHA.

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ED ATTACHES ASSETS IN BANK FRAUD CASE

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Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday provisionally attached assets worth Rs 146.67 crore of Future Metals Pvt Ltd and Future Exim India Pvt Ltd in a bank fraud case. According to ED, the total attachment in the case has reached Rs.185.67 crore. “ED has provisional attached assets worth Rs.146.67 Crore of M/s. Future Metals Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Future Exim India Pvt. Ltd. under the provisions of the PMLA, 2002 in a Bank Fraud Case. Total attachment in this case has reached to Rs.185.67 Crore.”

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‘NOD TO COVAXIN FOR KIDS AGED 2-18 YRS UNDER EVALUATION’

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NEW DELHI: The final approval for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children aged 2-18 years is under experts’ opinion and evaluation, stated government sources on Thursday. Sources said after evaluation of the data, the final approval will be given by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Bharat Biotech in an official statement had said they are waiting for further approvals from drug regulators. This is one of the first worldwide approval for Covid-19 vaccines for the age group of beneficiaries.

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HAVE FULL FAITH IN PARTY HIGH COMMAND: SIDHU

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Amid Punjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu’s visibly rebellious attitude towards the recently appointed State Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, the former on Thursday said that he has kept his concerns pertaining to the state before the party high command, adding that he will follow their directions, expressing faith in their decisions.

Sidhu’s remarks came while speaking to reporters after meeting Congress in charge for Punjab Harish Rawat and party general secretary KC Venugopal in Delhi today. “I expressed my concerns regarding Punjab and Punjab Congress to party high-command. I’ve full faith in Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka ji and Rahul ji. Whatever decision they’ll take, it’ll be for the betterment of Congress and Punjab. I’ll follow their directions,” said Sidhu.

The meeting lasted for more than one and a half hours. In the meeting, the issues of Punjab regarding over which there is a dispute between Sidhu and Channi were discussed as well as whether Navjot Singh Sidhu will remain the President of Punjab Congress or not.

Rawat told reporters after the meeting that Sidhu will continue to serve the party as the Punjab Congress chief and will set up an organisational structure in the state. He further said that a decision on the same shall be announced tomorrow.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Rawat said, “Navjot Sidhu has clearly stated that the decision of the Congress President will be acceptable to him. The instructions are clear that Navjot Sidhu should work as Punjab Congress President and set up the organisational structure. An announcement will be made tomorrow.”

Sidhu had tendered his resignation as Punjab Congress chief on September 28.

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Centre directs states to reduce edible oil prices

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The Central government on Thursday has directed the states to ensure that the prices of edible oils are brought down to commensurate levels in line with the import duty reductions.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution wrote to all major oil-producing states including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to ensure that the prices of Edible Oils are brought down to commensurate levels in line with the import duty reductions. The duty reduction will be effective from October 14, 2021 upto March 14, 2022. According to a press release by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, the government slashed the basic duty on Crude Palm Oil, Crude Soyabean Oil and Crude Sunflower Oil from 2.5 per cent to Nil. The Centre in the letter directed the state governments to ensure the passing on of full benefits of duty reduction by the Centre to the consumer to provide “immediate relief” from the ongoing high prices of the edible oils, especially during the ensuing festival season.

“This would also help in bringing down the food inflation and provide relief to ordinary consumers by the reduction in the prices of edible oils by Rs.15-20 per kg (approx),” said the press release.

The Agri-cess on these Oils has been brought down from 20% to 7.5% for Crude Palm Oil and 5% for Crude Soyabean Oil and Crude Sunflower Oil. The basic duty on RBD Palmolein Oil, Refined Soyabean and Refined Sunflower Oil has been slashed to 17.5% from the current 32.5%, according to the release.

“The duty has been slashed considerably to Nil for Crude Palm Oil, Crude Soyabean Oil and Crude Sunflower and 17.5% for RBD Palmolein, Refined Soyabean Oil and Refined Sunflower Oil. This will benefit the consumers by Rs. 15 to 20 per Kg of Edible Oils,” said the release.

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INDIA EXPORTS 10 CRORE COVID-19 JABS EACH TO BANGLADESH, NEPAL, MYANMAR, IRAN

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The Divisional Forest Officer of Katarniaghat Akash Badhawan is changing the lives of human beings and animals residing in Katarniaghat, drawing parallels between Vidya Balan in the film ‘Sherni’ where she was also changing lives for the better.

The Daily Guardian spoke to Badhawan and got to know how they are working and changing the lives of everyone related to Forest.

The children only had used copies in their hands which meant that only oral studies were the hope for them and this initiative was started by Satyendra Kumar, Sub-Inspector of the Special Tiger Protection Force of the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary under the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. He was teaching about 20 children during his free time at the Motipur Forest Range Office campus. The strength of kids was reduced to 4-7. Then he was promoted and asked newly joined Divisional Forest Officer Akash Badhawan to look after these little ‘Mowglis’. The destiny of Mowgli School changed and new dawn knocked on the door of these Mowglis.

“When my wife Tanya and I first interacted with these kids, they were very fascinated that someone had come to meet them. Well, over biscuits that we gave them, the ice was broken and I asked them what games would they like to play at our fairly big garden of the Motipur Range Office and Eco-Tourism Centre. They slowly started speaking up, to my wife mostly, and some kids wanted footballs, some wanted carrom boards, some girls wanted ludo sets and some kids even wanted Hindi storybooks. Within 2 days, I got these kids footballs, carrom boards, badminton sets, and some basic books to begin with,” says Divisional Forest Officer, Akash Badhwan.

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Around 65,550 cases sorted out in Lok Adalats held in Haryana in 2020-21

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A total of 65,550 cases have been sorted out by Lok Adalat held across the state of Haryana, which were started as an experiment and in wake of the fruitful feedback, the concept of conducting Lok Adalat came into existence.

Abiding by the data, what came to surface is that as many as 53407 Lok Adalat were held during 2020-21 in 22 districts of the state which led to sort out the above-mentioned cases and several financial disputes involving an amount of 72.21 crore brought to an end. It was revealed by one day consultation programme of Chief Judicial Magistrates-cum-Secretaries, District Legal Service Authorities (DLSA) presided over by Justice Rajan Gupta, Judge, Punjab & Haryana High Court and Executive Chairman, Haryana State Legal Services Authority (HALSA).

In continuation to the aforesaid, it is worth mentioning that a total of 16995 cases were withdrawn in the National Lok Adalat held on Thursday while a total of 6497 cases were sorted out. In this series, as on October 13, 2021, Legal Services Authorities in Haryana covered 3,992 villages which count more than 60% of total villages of Haryana in the last 12 days. As many as 2,896 Legal awareness-cum-legal aid camps were organized by DLSAs in rural and urban areas.

A total of 60,548 persons were provided immediate legal assistance through hybrid mode out of a total 1,64,927 participants. Service Delivery Camps were organized in association with various government departments including 06 Mega Service Camps and 104 Microservice Camps wherein 19,620 and 4,524 persons were benefitted across the State.

Door-to-door visits were conducted in villages for which Legal Services Authorities have constituted 371 teams which interacted with 22,058 villagers and made them aware about their rights. 114 Legal Aid Help Desks were set up in melas/fairs to educate people about the concept of legal services and 3,407 persons were provided legal aid though these Help Desks.

Legal awareness through mobile vans is being created in Haryana and 13,948 persons were made aware. In association with the Education Department, Haryana, 482 competitions were held in schools/colleges of Haryana wherein 25,131 students participated. Legal Services Authorities are also spreading awareness by way of holding exhibitions.

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