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Sewa Int'l funded Hindu radicals in India: Lord Patel

By Nabanita Sircar

Hindustan Times U.K., March 1, 2004 original

Lord Adam Patel has backed the Awaaz report published last week, that said that Sewa International, a UK registered charity was funding Hindu radicals in India.

Lord Patel, who resigned as patron of the charity in 2002, said: "Sewa International has cheated me and cheated the residents of the UK. The organisation has been raising funds in the name of charity and giving them to extremist organisations that preach hatred against Muslims and Christians. The report demonstrates that Sewa International sent £2 million, raised in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Gujarat in 2001, to its Indian counterpart Sewa Bharati."

"This organisation is a front to the RSS, which has been involved in large scale violence or hate politics in India."

Labour Lord Patel told a Leicester paper that: "Thousands of Indians have died over the past fifteen years as a result of religiously-motivated violence. Much of the money sent by Sewa International was spent on schools that promote hatred and fanaticism."

The report could be discussed in Parliament. Jeremy Corbyn, MP, and Vice Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, said: "I am sure we will all be asking questions about this in the Lords and Commons. No British organisation should be allowed in the name of charity to support extremists who have perpetrated this terrible violence."

Awaaz has maintained that Sewa International does not represent Hindus. A spokesman said: "Sewa International does not represent Hindu communities or Hinduism. They represent a political cult whose founders and early leaders were admirers of Mussolini and Hitler."