German held for funding anti-Kudankulam protest

via published on February 27, 2012

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu police on Monday arrested a 50-year-old German national who allegedly raised funds for protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

Tamil Nadu ‘Q’ branch sleuths, who monitor the activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the state, arrested Sonnteg Reiner Hermann in Nagercoil on Monday. They brought him to Chennai in the evening. Immigration officials said they have cancelled Hermann’s visa and that he would be deported early on Tuesday.

Police sources said Hermann had come to India on a tourist visa. The arrest comes close on the heels of the anti-nuke protestors threatening to sue PM Manmohan Singh for telling a journal that Indian NGOs were getting funds from the US and western Europe to stall the construction of the Russia-aided Kudankulam nuclear reactor.

Acting on a tip-off from the Centre, the ‘Q’ branch conducted surprise checks at a lodge in Nagercoil and picked up Hermann for questioning. They searched his room and found evidence that he had been mobilising funds for the anti-nuclear activists, an officer said.

“We had been watching his movements and found that he was sourcing funds for activists in Tamil Nadu. We collected Hermann’s mobile phone call details

and found that he was in touch with Lalmohan, a close aide of Udayakumar who is leading the anti-nuclear agitation in Kudankulam,” the officer said.

MoS in the PMO V Narayanasamy said the Centre had cancelled licenses of three NGOs in south Tamil Nadu. “These NGOs have violated the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act and therefore their licenses have been cancelled. They did not maintain proper accounts and did not use funds for the purposes they were meant for,” Narayanasamy said.

Central agencies are also probing the activities of some NGOs that receive funds from the US and Scandinavian countries and are spending huge amounts on the anti-Kudankulam agitation.

TN cops arrested Sonnteg Reiner Hermann from Nagercoil for mobilising funds for the anti-nuclear activists. Cops said his phone call records revealed he was in constant touch with a close aide of Udayakumar, who is leading the Kudankulam agitation.

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