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UK charities funding violence in India: Report Hindustan Times, London, February 26
‘RSS groups pocketed quake aid’ By Vijay Dutt, Hindustan Times, London, 26 February
Earthquake Aid Charity Accused of Supporting Extremists, Thursday, February 26, 2004

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British Donations For Gujarat Relief Went To Hindu Extremist Groups: Report, February 27, 2004 original

NEW DELHI, India : Feb 27 (PNS) - Massive donations by British Public for the relief fund to Gujarat have been sent to Hindu extremist groups, directly implicated in a large-scale campaign of violence and anti-minority hatred in India.

A report, released on the second anniversary of the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat reveals the unsavoury links between prominent fundraising organizations in the UK and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an extremist outfit of BJP.

The report "In Bad Faith: British Charity and Hindu Extremism," to be released at the House of Lords on Thursday, according to the leading Indian daily "The Asian Age," uses site visits, to Gujarat, interviews and commentary and photographic evidence to prove that under the cloak of humanitarian charity following the Gujarat earthquake, massive donations from the British public were sent to Hindu extremist groups directly implicated in large-scale campaign of violence and hatred in India.

According to the report, the money from the UK was also given to other Sangh Parivar outfits like Vanvasi Kalyan. Sewa International, the fundraising arm of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK, sent Pound two million to its Indian counterpart Sewa Bharati, a front for the RSS, as part of its quake relief fund to Gujarat.

Nearly a quarter of those funds was spent on RSS schools that promote fanaticism and large sums went to RSS front organizations, said Chetan Bhatt of Awaaz, the UK-based organization behind this report. The activities of the HSS and Sewa International have been under investigations since 2000 when UK's Charity Commission launched an inquiry into charity's links with proscribed organizations. The Commission staff sought Indian visas last year to ascertain how the charitable funds collected for Gujarat relief had been applied, but the officials were denied entry by the Indian government, said the Daily.

"The main aim of our inquiry has been to confirm that the charitable funds raised by HSS have been applied properly. In the course of investigation, we have looked at the charity's connection with the international organization RSS, which was previously proscribed by the Indian government. We have received some documentary evidence. However, we are now waiting for further information from the trustees," added the daily quoting a spokesperson from the Charity Commission.

The funds were collected by the Leicester-based registered charity HSS, and its fund-raising arm Sewa International, the report said adding, the HSS and Sewa International are UK branches of the RSS and the main purpose of their fund-raising is to channel money to RSS fronts in India.

This new report, Awwaz hoped will further the Commission’s inquiry and eventually lead to revoking HSS’charity status and put an end to corporate funding and political patronage for the group. The HSS, registered charity, is a branch of the Indian RSS and is modeled on the RSS, actively promotes RSS ideology and shares the RSS’ aim of turning India into an exclusive Hindu nation.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK and the Kalyan Ashram Trust UK, also registered charities, are other branches of the RSS family operating in tUK, stated the report. " Most British donors would be horrified if they knew the nature, history and ideas of the RSS. British individuals raised funds and donated in good faith to Sewa International's Gujarat Earthquake appeal, but would not have done so had they known that the organizations raising the money, were closely linked to the fascist- inspired and extremist RSS”, Awaaz added. “Sewa International has tried to dupe politicians, donors and the general public. Its main purpose is to fund, expand and glorify hate-driven RSS organizations, several of which have been at the forefront of large-scale violence, pogroms, or hate campaigns in India.

"It's claim to be a non-sectarian, non-political, non-religious humanitarian charity is a shame", Awaaz Spokesman Suresh Grover has been quoted as saying.

The End.