to withdraw charity status of RSS, HSS in U.K.
Hindu, March 4, 2003
MARCH. 4. Britain's Charity Commission is under renewed pressure
to withdraw the charity status of the U.K. unit of the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad and the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, which have
been accused of diverting charitable donations to fund sectarian
violence in India.
of cross-community social activists from a number of London-based
south Asian organisations held a candle-light vigil outside
the offices of the Commission here on Monday evening and later
gave a petition demanding immediate action.
which is investigating complaints of misuse of funds by these
two organisations, has said that so far it has not established
"sufficient evidence" to warrant a formal inquiry
into the affairs of the VHP but it is keeping its activities
"under review" and would welcome any information
that might help. The files on VHP would be kept open "pending
receipt of any further information". It has also not
ruled out a visit to Gujarat to investigate the allegations.
In their petition, the protestors said that while the inquiry
dragged on, money continued to
"pour in from unsuspecting donors in Britain to Hindutva
groups in the guise of charity". A spokesperson for the
South Asia Solidarity Group, which organised the vigil, said
there was enough evidence to "deregister" these
signed by 14 organisations including several women's groups,
alleged t! hat funds raised in the name of welfare causes
were being used to fund campaigns against minorities in India.
It said extensive evidence had been collected by independent
human rights organisations such as the Human Rights Watch
and Amnesty International in support of these allegations.