Guwahati: The Assam State Jamiat Ulema Wednesday submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, seeking his intervention to stop false propaganda against the Ajmal Foundation, which is run by the Lok Sabha MP and chief of All India United Democratic Front, Badruddin Ajmal.
Ajmal is also the president of the State Jamiat Ulema.
The Ajmal Foundation is a registered public charitable trust established in 2005 in Assam’s Hojai district. On 4 December, a case of sedition was filed against the organisation by Satya Ranjan Borah, a Right-wing activist and politician who claims to be from the BJP.
The complaint was based on a report by NGO Legal Rights Observatory (LRO), which alleged that the trust received funds from international groups linked to terror outfits. The LRO is believed to have links with the RSS.
It put out a series of tweets alleging that several Turkish and United Kingdom-based organisations have given Rs 69.55 crore to Ajmal Foundation for education, of which only Rs 2.05 crore was used for educational purposes and the rest was routed to the AIUDF.
A 10-member delegation led by Ajmal met Chief Minister Sonowal in Dispur and apprised him of how the organisation works for the welfare of common people and the conspiracies against it.
“Very recently, a so-called NGO by the name and style of LRO has brought some baseless and fabricated allegations against the Ajmal Foundation. Some print and electronic media are also spreading false and fabricated news unfortunately,” its memorandum states.
“Such propaganda has created misunderstanding and wrong conception among common people on Ajmal Foundation to demoralise its creative and charitable activities,” it adds. “Simultaneously, some politicians are also taking the opportunity to use the false allegation as a tool to malign the public image of the Trust and the Trustees….”
When reached by ThePrint via telephone for a comment, a senior government official said the memorandum has not come to his notice.
Working within FCRA rules, says foundation
The memorandum also states that an inquiry may be initiated to find out the real facts even as the “trust is running on strict bindings of the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) under the surveillance of the Ministry of Home Affairs”.
Reports earlier said the foundation has decided to file counter FIRs against both Borah and the LRO.
The memorandum highlighted how the trust has been working in different sectors of education, health and natural calamities “irrespective of caste, creed, religion and political identities”. The organisation has as many as 25 educational institutions all across Assam.
The FIR was lodged days before the Bodoland Territorial Council elections, which saw a big BJP leap in the region and a near whitewash of the Congress-AIUDF combine ahead of assembly elections next year. The BJP bagged nine out 40 seats in the BTC polls and announced a post-poll alliance with the regional United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP).
BJP MLA Shiladitya Dev had recently said that the Ajmal Foundation is trying to create a “jihadi force” in Assam. He was speaking to reporters while campaigning for the party in the Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC) poll rally in Morigaon district. The TAC election is scheduled to be held on 17 December for 36 TAC constituencies in Assam.