Diocesan account closed amid anti-nuclear stir

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Issues, National, newsletter-india, Tamil Nadu

Nuclear PlantTamil Nadu, February 29, 2012: Bishop Yvon Ambroise of Tuticorin has termed as unjust the freezing of one of the diocesan bank accounts for allegedly diverting funds to support a movement against a nuclear plant.

Last week, the federal government announced that it had clamped down on the accounts of three Non Governmental Organizations associated with the protest against the Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu state.

However, the government refused to divulge the NGO’s identities, but media reports hinted one of the accounts belonged to Tuticorin diocese.

Sources in Tuticorin diocese said the transaction in the account of the Tuticorin Diocesan Association was stopped on February 12. Federal agencies had scrutinized the diocesan accounts last month.

V. Narayanasamy, minister of state for parliamentary affairs, said these NGOs were receiving funds from foreign countries for social service causes such as helping the physically handicapped, eradication of leprosy or for religious purposes, but were using the money for anti-nuclear protests.

The development came amid the protest against the US$3 billion nuclear power plant built with Russian Technology. Three districts in Tamil Nadu began protesting the nuclear plant since September 2011, saying it was hazardous and would threaten their lives.

The plant, which is expected to produce 2000 MW of electricity, was scheduled to start operation in last December.

Pro-nuclear plant groups and a section of the media have accused the Church officials of allowing the protests to use church premises for their stir.

Earlier Bishop Ambroise had denied any direct Church involvement in the protest. He said some Church leaders supported the protest “as it is a people’s movement,” but they did not instigate them as reported in the media.

The prelate said the freezing of the account is the latest development. “We have to work how to resolve the matter and diocese will consult experts before taking any legal measures.”

However, he said, the work of the diocese will go on unhindered.

– ucan

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