New Delhi: Terror linked organizations are funding the Zakat Foundation of India, which in turn is supporting the UPSC aspirants, according to a counter affidavit filed by Sudarshan News in Supreme Court.
According to the affidavit, Zakat Foundation has received funds from various terror-linked organizations. "It is not that all contributors to the Zakat Foundation are terror-linked. However, some of the contributors are linked to organizations or are organizations that fund extremist groups. The funds received by the Zakat Foundation, in turn, are used to support aspirants for IAS, IPS or UPSC," it said.
It said that the thrust of the programme is that there appears to be a conspiracy which needs to be investigated by the NIA or CBI. It appears that terror linked organizations are funding the Zakat Foundation of India, which in turn is supporting the UPSC aspirants.
It said that under the provisions of Section 17 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,1967 if any person is collecting money from terrorist organization, terrorist gang or individual terrorist notwithstanding the fact that whether such funds were actually used or not for commission of such Act is punishable.
It says that the Zakat Foundation of India was founded in 1993 by one Syed Zafar Mahmood. Zakat Foundation of India is primarily involved in providing coaching to the aspirants of Civil Services from one community.
From 2009 to 2019 a total of 119 Zakat Foundation of India fellows have joined the Civil Services as per their website. As per reports, in 2020 alone 27 out of 40 Muslim candidates selected by Union Public Service Commission are products of the Zakat Foundation of India.
As per FCRA records available with the Ministry of Home Affairs Zakat Foundation of India received donations from Madina Trust U.K., through deposit in their bank account maintained at the Bank of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi which are as under:-
2007-2008 — Rs 1,68,031/-
2010-2011 — Rs 6,37,650/-
2011-2012 — Rs 6,30,835/-
2012-2013 — Rs 5,19,817/-
2014-2015 — Rs 9,59,345/-
2015-2016 — Rs 11,90,203/
2017-2018 — Rs.12,73,960/-
2018-2019 — Rs 13,64,694/-
The affidavit says that as per the records of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, Dr. Zahid Ali Parvez, Trustee, Madina Trust is also a trustee with the Islamic Foundation.
The Times, UK had reported that two Islamic Foundation trustees were on the UN sanctions list of people associated with banned terror organizations Taliban and Al-Qaeda. According to reports, Madina Trust was also involved in an attack on Indian High Commission, London in September,2019.
As per FCRA records available with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Zakat Foundation of India received donations from 'Muslim Aid (UK)', which were deposited in their bank account maintained at the Bank of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi. These are as under:-
2006-2007 — Rs 8,80,481.00
2006-2007 — Rs 14,35,194.00
2010-2011 — Rs 5,75,640.00
2011-2012 — Rs 3,08,609.00
2013-2014 — Rs 4,90,000.00
As per Sam Westrop, Director of Middle East Forum's Islamist Watch, General Khalid Latif who is Chairman of Muslim Aid (Pakistan) was previously a Senior Official of Pakistan's ISI. Muslim Aid (Pakistan) also partners and works closely with designated terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen.
It is a matter of fact that Muslim Aid U.K. is a parent organization of Muslim Aid Pakistan which inter alia (Muslim Aid U.K.) is funding Zakat Foundation of India.
Westrop further states that Muslim Aid, UK has repeatedly been found involved with a number of terror networks. He adds, that in 2010, following investigative work by the British media and an inquiry by Britain's charity regulator, Muslim Aid, UK was found (and admitted) to have been funding a number of front organizations for the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
It is relevant to mention that as per the record maintained by Companies House, the Registrar of Companies in the UK it has come in public domain that the following persons are linked with each other — Zakir Naik is currently a Director of Islamic Research Foundation (International) at UK — From 24.01.2007 to 20.12.2016 and Mohammed Jafer Hussain Qureshi was Director of Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation (International) at the UK.
He is presently Director of Zakat Foundation of India (International) in the UK. Syed Zafar Mahmood who is founder of Zakat Foundation of India is presently Director of Zakat Foundation of India (International) in the UK.
"It is the understanding of the answering Respondent that Syed Zafar Mahmood is closely associated with both Mohammed Jafer Hussain Qureshi and Zakir Naik", the affidavit said.
As per the FCRA records available with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Zakat Foundation of India received donations from Zakat Foundation of America, which were deposited in their bank account maintained at the Bank of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi which is Rs 11,32,574.00 in 2015-2016.
As per a report by non-profit research group i.e. The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) of United States of America, Zakat Foundation of America's executive director is Khalil Demir.
Khalil Demir has signed the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 990 forms for Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) which the US Treasury(U.S. Government) found guilty in the year 2002 for funding Al-Qaeda.
In addition to serving Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), Khalil Demir also has worked with the terror-tied Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH). A 2010 news release on the Turkish charity's relief efforts in earthquake-hit Haiti describes Khalil Demir as an "IHH aid coordinator." The same year, IHH also referred to the Zakat Foundation of America as a "partner institution."
Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH) has also helped in funding the Hamas military wing (terror group), which used the money to buy weapons and build training facilities as per Israel's Ministry of Foreign Relations. IHH has been designated a terrorist organization by Israel, Germany and the Netherlands.
From this information that has been painstakingly analyzed and collected by the answering Respondent, it appears that Zakat Foundation of India has received funds from terror tied Zakat Foundation of America(Khalil Demir) who has a direct/indirect link with Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) and Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH) both of which have terror links.
Reports also stated that Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH) distributed aid to the Salafist group Ahrar al Sham, which fought alongside ISIS and the al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, the affidavit said. –IANS