Monday 23 May 2022
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Kerala NGO diverts funds via Jammu-Kashmir to build mosques in Punjab

A spokesperson of RCFI, who identified himself as Salaam Ustaad, confirmed that the NGO based in Kerala had no unit in Punjab but insisted the outfit was into 'social service'

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Relief and Charitable Foundation of India (RCFI), an NGO based in Kerala with no unit in Punjab, has come under the scanner of the security agencies for its curious funding of the of three mosques in the Faridkot district of the northern state. Received from individuals or organisations abroad, the money was diverted through two residents of Baramulla in Kashmir, who reportedly supervised the construction and paid the bills.

The mosques, built between 2015 and 2017, are located within 40-70 km from the Pakistan border.

A report by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs states the the Kerala-based NGO diverted international worth Rs 70 crore for the of mosques. The MHA had stopped the funding in August 2021, it is learnt.

Punjab Police and other security agencies had also red-flagged the matter.

There are more than 200 mosques in the border districts of Ferozepur, Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Pathankot. Many of these were built recently. Their location close to the border is also the subject of investigation. The RCFI has not responded in detail to questions from journalists.

  • RCFI is under lens for using donations for building mosques
  • Has no unit in Punjab, funded of 3 mosques in Faridkot
  • diverted via two of Baramulla, who paid bills
  • Mosques located within 40-70 km from Pakistan border

One of its spokespersons, who identified himself as Salaam Ustaad, has confirmed that the NGO based in Kerala had no unit in Punjab. He claimed a detailed reply to the allegations had already been sent to the MHA. He insisted the RCFI was into social service alone, which was suffering due to the “arbitrary ban” on international funding imposed by the union government.

The RCFI website says it is a certified non-denominational organisation founded in 2000 with the mission to uplift the socio-cultural aspects of backward sections at the grass-roots level.

The site does not mention the of mosques as its mandate. It claims, “The genesis of the RCFI is to improve the quality of life for the most marginalised communities. The organisation has directly reached almost 2.35 million people in 24 states with the support of national and international funding agencies and individual private donors. It works in diverse fields from water and sanitation to health, sustainable measures to support livelihood and disaster risk reduction and response, cultural restoration to school improvement, and family food security to individual special care programme.”

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