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We don't support NGOs opposing N-power plants in India: US

By Lalit K Jha
March 02, 2012 16:01 IST
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The United States has said it is strongly supportive of India's investment in the civil nuclear power sector and does not favour its NGOs opposing anti-nuclear activities in the country.

"We are supportive, as a government, of India's investment in civil nuclear power. That's not what we support NGOs to do in India," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said when asked about recent statements by Indian authorities that American NGOs are involved in opposing a nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.

"Our NGO support goes for development and it goes for democracy programmes," she told reporters at her daily news conference.

India intensified its drive against NGOs it suspects of being hostile to national interests, with the home ministry zeroing in on 77 organisations whose activities will be scrutinised, following a crackdown on four NGOs for allegedly fanning protests against the Kudankulam nuclear plant.

Nuland said she is not aware of the statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a recent interview to 'Science' magazine, saying that some NGOs do not appreciate India's growing energy requirements.

"I am not aware of that. As you know, we are strongly supportive of India's investment in civil nuclear power. The NGOs that we fund in India are involved in the same kind of democratisation projects, etc," Nuland said.

Dr Singh had said, "The atomic energy programme has gone into difficulties because these NGOs, mostly I think based in the United States, don't appreciate the need for our country to increase the energy supply."

When asked whether she was surprised and shocked by Dr Singh's statement on the issue and if Secretary (of State Hillary Clinton) is aware of this, Nuland replied, "I can't speak to that one way or the other."

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