GUWAHATI, Dec 4 - The Ajmal Foundation on Friday categorically denied committing any violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) rules or receiving funds from overseas NGOs having links with terror groups, even as Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Central government is likely to conduct a probe into the matter.
This came after voluntary group Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) on Thursday alleged that the Ajmal Foundation receives funds from foreign NGOs having links with terror groups. It also claimed that the Ajmal Foundation received Rs 69.55 crore, out of which only Rs 2.5 crore was spent on education.
�#FCRAViolation Ajmal Foundation of @BadruddinAjmal got Rs 69.55 Cr for educn, used only Rs 2.05 Cr for it, rest routed for #AIUDF, to counter @himantabiswa�s #Hindutva juggernaut, #Turkish n UK terror grps funded it in crores! Wrote @HMOIndia for #FCRA cancellation,� LRO had tweeted on Thursday.
The Ajmal Foundation is headed by All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief and Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal.
LRO, which is alleged to be affiliated with the RSS, had claimed that one of Ajmal Foundation�s donors, the Al Imdaad Foundation of the UK, is directly linked with Palestinian radical group Hamas, while another donor, the Ummah Welfare Trust of the UK, is accused of money laundering and terror financing.
LRO also alleged that two other donors, Turkey-based Insani Yardim Vakfi and UK-based Muslim Aid, also have similar links with various Islamic terrorist outfits. �Needless to say why Ajmal Foundation has spent just 2.5 per cent of its foreign donations on actual cause of education (for which it received) n you would come to know where did rest money go!� it tweeted.
On being contacted, Ajmal Foundation director Dr Khasrul Islam termed the allegations as �baseless and without facts�. �We have FCRA registration and as per rules, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) monitors all donations and funding received from foreign sources. We have to submit our audit reports every three months to the MHA as well as the annual audited reports. In addition, the MHA has a system in place to keep an eye on sources of funding and it immediately blocks any organisation found to be involved in illegal activities. Most of our organisations mentioned are UK-based and in the UK, the rules are similarly strict. The Charity Commissioner in the UK also keeps a close tab on all funding going out. Whenever we receive any funding, we have to give proof of utilisation, including photographic evidence of the projects undertaken, to our donor in the UK and they, in turn, have to submit those to the office of UK Charity Commissioner. So there is no scope for any wrongdoing,� said Islam.
He said the MHA had last month cancelled FCRA registration of 23,000 NGOs. �But Ajmal Foundation�s registration was not cancelled. In fact, our registration has been renewed twice. But let me tell you that if the government has any reason to suspect us they can conduct a full inquiry. We have nothing to hide,� he said.
Finance Minister Sarma said the Central government is likely to conduct an inquiry into the matter. �Many people in Assam assume that Badruddin Ajmal engages in humanitarian activities by spending his own money. The truth is different. He got Rs 70-75 crore annually from various foreign NGOs and with that money he used to, or at least claimed to, run charities here. Now some new facts have come to light on social media regarding violation of FCRA rules. One well reputed organisation has claimed that the sources of funds are groups having links with terror outfits. Secondly, whatever funds came were not utilised properly. I believe the Government of India will definitely investigate this angle,� he said.