Maharashtra move against fake Human rights NGOS

Mumbai: Alarmed at the increasing number of fake non-government organisations (NGOs) extorting money from innocent people in the name of human rights, the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has asked the state government to take stringent action against such fake NGOs. The commission observed that many such fake organisations had cropped up.

In its order, the MSHRC has asked the additional chief secretary (home) to take stern action by either preventing such extortion or prohibiting such fake NGOs from operating.

The racket of fake NGOs came to light after businessmen, brothers Prakash and Shantilal Sheth, received a call from an organisation that called itself the All India Human Rights & Citizen Option Human Rights Organisation. According to Sheth, the caller who said he was calling from a ‘human rights organisation’, asked Shantilal to visit their office because they had received a human rights’ violation complaint against him. “From the outset it seemed a dubious matter. We decided the probe the matter thoroughly,” Sheth said.

“After preliminary enquiry, I confirmed that it was a suspicious case and this was nothing else but a gang of notorious people involved in extortion and blackmailing,” Sheth added.

Sheth then approached the MSHRC and filed a case. The commission sought an inquiry into the matter, which was carried out by additional director general of police, Praveen Dixit. The inquiry concluded that the members of the said NGO were indeed involved in illegal activity and a police case was registered against the NGO.

In its order, a copy of which is with the DNA, the MSHRC said it was clear that there exist parallel and bogus human rights organisations involved in extortion and blackmailing, for which strict action is necessary. The commission felt that if such action is not taken, such fake NGOs will continue to cheat gullible victims by misusing the goodwill of the commission.

A senior official from the home department said that a new additional chief secretary (home) had been appointed last month and thus it was difficult to say if there was any development on the MSHRC’s order.

Nikhil S Dixit, DNAINDIA.COM, May 4, 2009

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