India investigating corruption allegations against Red Cross branches - govt
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's federal investigating agency has initiated an inquiry into allegations of "corruption and financial irregularities" against seven regional branches of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), the country's health ministry said on Monday.
The IRCS is a humanitarian organisation that provides relief in emergency situations and works towards the welfare of vulnerable populations, especially in the area of healthcare. Its website states it is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and has a network of over 1,100 branches across India.
"It has been noted that certain allegations have been marked against Indian Red cross society and regional branches. Ministry would like to clarify that Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry has been initiated in these cases," the ministry of health and family welfare said in a statement.
The IRCS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The branches against which the allegations have been levelled are located in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerela and Karnataka, in the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar, and in the northeastern state of Assam.
(Reporting by Nigam Prusty; Writing by Sakshi Dayal, editing by Ed Osmond)