‘Internet shut, data seized’: Think tanks CPR, Oxfam recall I-T dept 'surveys' – The New Indian Express

The Ministry of Home Affairs denied Oxfam India its FCRA renewal licence in December 2021 at a time when it was conducting one of the largest civil society responses to the Covid crisis.
Published: 10th September 2022 10:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2022 10:44 AM   |  A+A-
Income Tax department (IT) officials leave after conducting a raid at premises of the think-tank Centre for Policy Research (CPR), in New Delhi. (Photo | PTI)
NEW DELHI: The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Oxfam India, the two non-profit organisations which the Income Tax department targeted for “surveys” on September 7, today said they cooperated with the IT authorities would continue to do so in the future.

However, of the two organisations, Oxfam India’s reaction was stronger, pointing out that “during these 35 plus hours of non-stop survey”, its “team members were no allowed to leave the premises; the internet was shut down and all the mobile phones were confiscated”.
Pointing out that the IT survey team “took away hundreds of pages of data pertaining to finances and programs of Oxfam India”, a statement by the organisation said that “they also took all the data by cloning the Oxfam India server and the private mobile phones of the Senior leadership team and the Finance lead.”
ALSO READ | Congress slams Centre over ‘raids’ against CPR, Oxfam India, IPSMF
While claiming that the survey team was “polite and professional”, the “process of a survey with such sweeping powers and broad ambit resulted in disappointing Oxfam India, an organisation that has been law-abiding and community centric”.
According to Oxfam India, the past eight months have been distressing for the organisation. The Ministry of Home Affairs denied Oxfam India its FCRA renewal licence in December 2021 at a time when it was conducting one of the largest civil society responses to the Covid crisis across 16 states in India.
For its part, CPR said in a statement that “as one of 24 research institutes of the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research network, CPR has all required approvals and sanctions, and is authorised by the government as a recipient under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
CPR added that it holds itself to the “highest standards of compliance and are confident that we have done nothing wrong. We are committed to working with the authorities to address any questions they might have”. Oxfam India said that it “is compliant with Indian laws and has filed all its statutory compliances, including Income Tax and Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) returns.”
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