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MP: Cops seize Greenpeace 'communication equipment'

July 30, 2014 15:34 IST

An alleged unauthorised communication equipment has been seized from the office of prominent NGO Greenpeace at a village in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh and two persons have been arrested for trying to disrupt the police probe, a senior police official said on Wednesday.

However, the NGO has termed it as an attempt to clamp down on its protests against Essar and Hindalco's proposed coal mine in Mahan forest of Madhya Pradesh.

Acting on a tip-off that Greenpeace was using high frequency communication equipment, police had sent a notice to its office at Amelia village in Singrauli to find out whether it was having any licence or authority from local police to use it, Rewa Range Inspector General Pavan Shrivastava said.

When the NGO did not respond, a police constable went there on Tuesday. But he was allegedly manhandled by those present in the office and also by its other supporters, following which police carried out a search and seized signal boosters, solar panels, antenna and cable from the site, Madha police station in-charge G R Barkade said.

In the melee, those present in the office escaped with other high frequency equipment normally used by security agencies for communication purpose, the IG said.

Singrauli Collector M Selvendran said the NGO was using a very high frequency to operate its wireless sets, normally banned for private use and used by security forces,

without any licence, as per the district administration’s knowledge.

The NGO has been spearheading an anti-mining campaign against private power companies by operating its communication sets on a very high frequency normally used by security agencies, including Army, for long distance communication.

A notice was given to them in this regard but so far they have not responded to it, the Collector said.

Two persons were arrested after police personnel were prevented from discharging their duties by the NGO employees and supporters and they were produced in a local court on Wednesday, Singrauli's Superintendent of Police D Kalyan Chakravarthy said.

The radio receiver set was not found from the spot, but coaxial cable normally used for receiving wireless signals, an antenna, signal booster and solar panels used for long distance communication, and not for just watching television sets, were seized, the SP said.

The NGO has not yet shown any licence copy for using these equipment and frequency which is mandatory and they should show it readily, he said.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace in a release alleged that in a sudden raid, the local police in Singrauli seized its communication equipment in Amelia village.

This is being seen as an attempt to clamp down on all protest against Essar and Hindalco's proposed coal mine in Mahan forests, the NGO's senior media officer Anindita Datta Choudhury said.

A Greenpeace mobile phone signal booster was confiscated by local police along with other communication equipment in Amelia village in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh, the NGO said. 

This comes just days after the district Collector promised a free and fair Gram Sabha on community consent for Essar and Hindalco's mine, to replace a forged resolution last year, it said.

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