India bars Mother Teresa's charity from receiving foreign funds
The Indian government has refused to renew the foreign funding licence for a charity founded by Mother Teresa for not meeting eligibility criteria.
The Missionaries of Charity, founded by the Nobel-laureate nun in 1950, runs many homes and clinics to care for the sick and poor across India.
The Home Ministry in a statement on Monday evening said the charity's application for renewing a licence which allows it to obtain overseas funds was rejected on Christmas Day.
"While considering the MoC's renewal application, some adverse inputs were noticed. In consideration of these inputs on record, the renewal application of MoC was not approved," the ministry said.
While the ministry said the MoC had not submitted a review request so far, the Kolkata-based charity said it was taking steps to adapt its operations in the meantime.
"We have been informed that our application has not been approved. Therefore, as a measure to ensure there is no lapse, we have asked our centres not to operate any of the foreign contribution accounts until the matter is resolved," it said. Hard-line Hindu organisations have long accused the charity of propagating conversion to Christianity. The charity denies the charge.
This is not the first time that a voluntary group has lost its licence to obtain foreign funds. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government cancelled licences of hundreds of NGOs after they failed to file annual returns.
Last year, Amnesty International suspended operations in India after the government froze its bank accounts, that the watchdog said was a "reprisal" for critical reports. (dpa)