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News ::
IDRF received letter from IRS (english)
05 Apr 2003
IDRF received letter from IRS -- All Indians in New England and US Must read

New Page 1

Namaskaar All,


IDRF (India development and Relief Fund), the charity headquartered in
Maryland and mentioned in the Economist story, has recently received a letter
from IRS (US Internal Review Service) attesting to IDRF's tax-exempt status,
and the following letter from UK Charity Commission admits to "insufficient
evidence to mount a full inquiry".


Either IDRF and VHP have failed to advertise their respective good standings,
or the media want to sling mud as long as they can.



Chandrakant Panse

Friends of India Society International, Inc. (FISI)

New England Region President

Newton, Massachusetts, USA




Charity Commission for  England and Wales
2nd Floor
20 Kings Parade
Queens Dock
Liverpool L3 4DQ

Direct Line: 0151 703 1779
Fax: 0151 703 1558
General Enquiries: 0870 3330123 (Voice)
0870 3330125 (Minicom)
Email: pat.elias (at)

Dear Dr Bhan

Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK

I am writing further to my letter of 23rd January to let you know the
present position regarding our evaluation of concerns which have been
raised regarding this charity.

Groups that espouse, support and organise terrorist acts, including
ethnic and religious atrocities, may see the UK charitable sector as a
lucrative source of funding. The Charity Commission recognises this and,
in response has issued policy guidance on charities and terrorism. It is
also co-operating with other agencies to combat it on an international
level. The Commission's Director of Operations has attended a Cabinet
Office Committee on Domestic and International Terrorism and is expected
to attend further Committee meetings.

Allegations that Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK is supporting terrorist
activities in India have been examined in some detail. The Charity
Commission has been in regular contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office, which has provided information from the British High Commission
in New Delhi as well as from non Governmental Organisations operating in

Whilst the main VHP organisation is alleged to be linked to Hindu
extremism and atrocities committed against Muslims and Christians it is
also acknowledged that the VHP provides a range of genuine social,
cultural and philanthropic services in India. I note from your letter of
3rd January 2003 that the trustees of VHP UK confirm that the charity
maintains links with the VHP in India for these purposes. I also note
that the trustees deny any support, either directly or indirectly, of
any of the atrocities and strongly condemn the violence.

Having regard to all the circumstances at present there is insufficient
evidence to mount a full inquiry into VHP UK. The information you have
provided in your letter of 3rd January has been helpful and I have noted
your suggestion of a meeting to discuss the matter further. This will be
borne in mind for the future but for the present we do not require the
trustees to provide any further information in connection with this

'However, you may be aware that there was a debate in the House of
Commons on 28 h January on this matter. Andrew Selous MP asked the
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth
Affairs (Bill Rammell MP) to launch an investigation to ensure that
money raised in this country under charitable pretexts does not end up
funding the dubious activities of a militant organisation in India." The
Minister replied that the Charity Commission is keeping the activities
of VHP UK under review, and invited Mr Selous to let the Commission have
any specific evidence he has about the activities of VHP UK and the
Commission has agreed to hold open its files on VHP UK for this purpose.
After careful consideration of anything further received in this respect
a final decision will be made as to whether formal inquiry action is

Yours sincerely

Pat Elias


----- Original Message -----



Most of the
charities investigated so far have been Islamic, although the FATF's
push will apply to all. America's Department of Justice has received and may
now be investigating a report passed on from the State Department that a
charity in Maryland funds affiliates of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),
a militant Hindu group linked to the killing of Muslims in Gujarat last year.
Britain's Charity Commission recently started investigating a charity, Hindu
Swayamsevak Sangh, for links to extremist groups.

See also:
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