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RSS raising money in Britain under false pretences: report Indo-Asian News Service, February 26, 2004
Quake, cyclone funds sponsored Guj violence: UK report The Times of India, 26, 2004
Funds collected for quake relief benefited RSS affiliate: report The Hindu, February 25, 2004

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Hindu group denounces UK claims

A right wing Hindu organisation in India has strongly denied allegations that it misused money raised from charities in the UK.

BBC, February 26, 2004 original

The denial follows allegations by a British campaign group that activists loyal to the Rashtriya Swayemsevak Sangh (RSS) siphoned off relief money.

An RSS spokesman described the allegations as false and baseless.

The RRS and other groups are accused of being involved or implicated in violence or hatred against minorities.


The report, released by the group Awaaz - South Asia Watch, said big donations from members of the public in Britain ended up in the hands of groups such as the RSS.

An RSS spokesman, Ram Madhav, told the BBC that the report was full of untruths and was prepared with the sole aim of misguiding people.

Mr Madhav said the money raised for disaster relief was spent on reconstructing villages and schools in the earthquake affected areas the western state of Gujarat and was not siphoned off for any other activity.

The RSS (National Volunteers Corps) is a body which provides ideological backing to several hardline Hindu organisations as well as India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

It aims to turn secular India into a Hindu nation - its critics say its hardline ideology is based on intolerance towards the country's minorities.

Much of the money in question was raised as part of wider humanitarian appeals.


Allegations of this sort have been raised before and are currently being investigated by the British government body that regulates charities.

Another of the British organisations accused by Awaaz, Sewa International, said it would be inappropriate to respond to the report while that investigation was taking place.

However, Sewa International's sister organisation in India, Sewa Bharati, has also strongly denied that any money it has received has been used for Hindu nationalist activity.

The release of the Awaaz report has been timed to coincide with the second anniversary, on Friday, of the widespread sectarian killings in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the riots that followed the killing of nearly 60 Hindus on board a train, allegedly by a Muslim mob.

Some estimates, however, have placed the numbers of those killed at about 2,000.

Story from BBC NEWS: